Senate approves Zorn bills to restore sales tax exemption for dental devices

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to eliminate the sales and use taxes on dental bridges, crowns, dentures and other prosthetics.

“One of the things I hear regularly from my constituents is frustration with the ever-increasing cost of health care,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “As we do what we can to make health care and dental care as affordable as possible for Michigan families, it doesn’t make any sense to start taxing dental products that greatly improve the health of hundreds of people every year.”

“This legislation is about helping all consumers in need of these products by clarifying that dental prosthetics were never supposed to be taxed.”

Since a Department of Treasury opinion letter in 1985, Michigan had exempted dental prosthetics from the state’s sales tax. Many Michigan tax laws were rewritten in 2004 to reduce the burden of compliance and improve tax administration.

Citing language in the 2004 rewrite, the Department of Treasury recently decided that dental prosthetics are not exempt and made an administrative decision to start charging sales tax on the products beginning July 1.

Senate Bills 566 and 567 would restore the sales and use tax exemptions for dental prosthetics.

“These products had been exempt from Michigan’s sales tax for more than three decades,” Zorn said. “This summer the state Department of Treasury arbitrarily wiped out 32 years of tax policy and started applying Michigan’s sales tax to dental prosthetics. My bills will restore this exemption and help curb unnecessary cost hikes for dental care.”

SBs 566 and 567 have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.