Zorn bills to restore sales tax exemption for dental devices sent to the governor

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich.Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to eliminate the sales and use taxes on dental bridges, crowns, dentures and other prosthetics is on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed.

“Frustration with the ever-increasing cost of health care is one of the most common things I hear about when meeting people throughout Monroe and Lenawee counties,” 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 will help control costs for residents who need dental prosthetics by clarifying that these products were never supposed to be taxed and helping ensure that they will not be taxed in the future.”

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 and House Bills 5164 and 5173 would restore the sales and use tax exemptions for dental prosthetics. The savings is estimated to be roughly $10 million per year.

“These products were exempt from Michigan’s sales tax for more than three decades, until the state Department of Treasury arbitrarily started applying the tax to dental prosthetics,” Zorn said. “I thank my colleagues for supporting my bills to restore this exemption. I look forward to seeing the governor sign the measures and help curb unnecessary cost hikes for dental care.”