Zorn bill would restore sales tax exemption for dental devices

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — Sales and use taxes on dental bridges, crowns, dentures and other prosthetics would be eliminated under legislation introduced on Wednesday by Sen. Dale Zorn.

“Given the increasing costs of health care, it doesn’t make any sense to start taxing dental products that greatly improve the health of hundreds of people every year,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Due to a poorly drafted law and a missing comma, the state Department of Treasury arbitrarily wiped out 32 years of tax policy and started applying Michigan’s sales tax to dental prosthetics.

“Until this summer, these products had been exempt from Michigan’s sales tax for more than three decades. My bills will restore this exemption and help curb unnecessary cost hikes for dental care.”

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 decided this summer 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.

“It is vital that we do what we can to make health care and dental care as affordable as possible for Michigan families and job providers,” Zorn said. “This legislation will help all consumers in need of these products by clarifying that dental prosthetics were never supposed to be taxed.”

SBs 566 and 567 have been referred to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.