Bottled water tax criticized

September 14, 2009

Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s proposed tax on bottled water attempts to circumvent the 35-year old Michigan prohibition on taxing the sale of food products. In 1974, the voters of Michigan approved an amendment to the state constitution that exempts food products from any sales or use tax. Bottled water is classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the state of Michigan as a packaged food product. Therefore, Gov. Granholm’s proposed tax would be unconstitutional. Although there are many taxable items and services involved in the governor’s budget proposal, taxing food products such as bottled water is not permitted under current law.

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