Michigan is the 10th most populous of the United States with approximately 10-million residents; it is also ranked 11th in terms of area at 96,715 square miles. Michigan is unique in that it is composed of two peninsulas; the Upper Peninsula (nicknamed the “U-P”) runs predominately east to west and is segregated from the main body of the state (the Lower Peninsula) by the Straits of Mackinac which is a 5-mile long channel that joins the Great Lake of Huron to Lake Michigan. The Mackinac Bridge connects the two peninsulas, it is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world.
Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world and more shoreline total than any other state except Alaska. It is also the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes.
Within this wealth of water, Michigan affords some of the greatest recreational boating to be found. In fact, Michigan ranks first in the fifty states for boat registrations. Another ‘did you know fact’ about Michigan’s vast expanse of water is that it is the only place in the world with a floating post office.
What is now Michigan was first settled by various Native American tribes before being colonized by French explorers in the 17th century. Michigan was admitted to the Union in 1837 as the 26th state. Speaking of history, Sault Ste. Marie is the third oldest remaining settlement in the U.S.
Though Michigan has come to develop a diverse economy, Detroit is known as the car capital of the world. The Packard Motor Company manufactured the first air-conditioned car in 1939. Today it is still thought of as the home to General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, known as “America’s Big Three Automakers”. With the growth, the auto industry created jobs in Detroit that attracted works from across the U.S. and the world. Detroit was the fourth largest city in the U.S. by 1920. Michigan is still the leading auto-producing state in the U.S., but a number of other economic producing businesses have also found a happy home in Michigan. Despite the significant 'auto union' influence in the state, Michigan became the 24th Right-to-work state in the U.S. in 2012.
Michigan usually tanks 3rd in research and development within the U.S. economy led in part by the state’s major universities. President Gerald Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and attended the University of Michigan.
Michigan is the third leading grower of Christmas trees and it is home to some of the world’s largest (and most diverse) operations including the largest cement plant, limestone quarry, Holstein dairy herd, and manufacturer of magic supplies. Speaking of magic, have I shown you my 'rabbit up the sleeve' trick? Michigan is also the leading producer of navy beans, pickling cucumbers, blueberries and tart cherries in the U.S.; additional agricultural products include soybeans, wheat, sugar beets and potatoes (yes, I can spell potatoes correctly.) And what about 'cereal', I mean Kellogg's is based in Battle Creek, so you know they make all kinds of yummy for my morning bowl of milk.
Vernor’s ginger ale, created in Detroit, claims to be the first soda pop produced in the U.S., but others say that Hires Root Beer of Philadelphia holds that title. Both Domino's and Little Caesars Pizza call Michigan home. I'm making myself hungry just writing about soda and pizza. Speaking of firsts, did you know that Detroit was the first city in the U.S. to be issued telephone numbers?
Tourism is a major industry in Michigan as well, with places like the 'Grand Hotel' on Mackinac Island (how could you not want to go there?). If you make a trip to the Grand Hotel plan to take the ferry boat and do some walking in one of the most beautiful and romantic places on the planet...because they don't permit motor vehicles (other than emergency ones) on the island. Take a horse-drawn carriage if you feel you are not up to the walk up the hill from the docks to the hotel.
About Sales Taxes and this series:
Thanks to Avalara, the 'tax people', this article is one in a 50 part series covering sales tax issues associated with each and every state tax jurisdiction in the United States. We’re publishing "Sales Tax Tuesday" every week through 2015.
Sales tax provides critical revenue for states. Other than property and income tax, sales tax is the largest source of tax revenue in the majority of the 46 states that collect it. From a government perspective, making sure every sales tax dollar is collected, through audits, fines, penalties rates and rules, is an exercise for income. It’s easy to be lured into a false sense of compliance when it comes to sales tax, this series is intended to insure that you are aware of the key sales tax facts for YOUR state.
Sales Tax Facts:
- Michigan’s state sales tax rate is 6%. There are no local option sales taxes.
- Items such as food and medication are exempted from sales tax.
- Michigan is a destination sourcing states. This means that sales tax is based on the location of the buyer, not the seller. Michigan is a member of Streamlined Sales Tax (SST)
- New click-through nexus laws go into effect on October 1, 2015. Out of state sellers who meet nexus law requirements on sales into the state will be required to register and collect sales tax on these transactions.
- Most services are exempt from sales tax in Michigan with the exception of telecommunications, hotel and motel accommodations, industrial laundry services and medical services provided by Medicaid managed care organizations. These services are subject to use tax.
- Tax on cigarettes and alcohol generated more than $290 million in revenue for the state of Michigan in 2014, which is more than double the state’s net business income tax after deductions.
- Preaching to the Choir? Rather shocking for a state that is known as the automobile capital of the world. But an archaic law on the books in Michigan since 1953 makes it illegal to buy or sell cars on a Sunday.
Manual sales and use taxes are prone to error and can consumes hours of your time in collection, accounting and reporting for what is pass-through rather than revenue-generating activities. Avalara provides solutions for sales tax automation, including tax calculation, exemption certificate management, returns processing and 1099 filing and reporting. Automation via Avatax allows businesses to be fully sales tax compliant without sacrificing productivity.