Michigan Sbt Tax Cases

In Trinova, the United States Supreme Court, in determining a constitutional issue regarding income tax, stated that "the Michigan SBT is an addition method VAT (value added tax), although it inevitably permits various exclusions, exemptions, and adjustments that depart from the simple value added examples." Appellants argue that this statement is not a holding of the case, as the Court was merely discussing the philosophy of a VAT, and should carry no weight. Trinova Corp. v. Dept. of Treasury, 433 Mich. 141, 445 N.W.2d 428, 431-432 (Mich. 1989), aff'd, 498 U.S. 358, 112 L. Ed. 2d 884, 111 S. Ct. 818 (1991). All of the courts that have considered this issue have determined that the Michigan SBT is not a tax on income or a tax measured by income based, in part, upon the Michigan Appellate Courts' determination. See First Chicago NBD Corp. v. Dep't of State Revenue, 708 N.E.2d 631, 633 (Tax Ct. Indiana 1999) (citing Ardire v. Tracy, 77 Ohio St3d 409, 674 N.E.2d 1155 (1997); Kellogg Sales Co. v. Dep't of Revenue, 10 Or. Tax 480, 486-87 (1987), aff'd, 307 Or. 278, 766 P.2d 1029 (1988); cf. Revenue Cabinet v. General Motors Corp., 794 S.W.2d 178, 179 (Ky. CCt. App. 1990); see also In re Private Letter Ruling, No. PD 94-313, 1994 WL 663482 (Va. Dep't Tax. Oct. 17, 1994).