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January 09, 2003 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-09

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LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 3A

State may lose revenue under Bush plan

Ice near Taubman
Medical Library
causes slip and fall
A person walking near the Taub-
man Medical Library on Catherine
Street slipped and fell on ice Monday
morning, according to Department of
Public Safety reports.
According to the DPS incident log,
the person remained on the ground
for 10 to 20 minutes. DSP is unsure
of what injuries had been sustained
by the victim.
University worker
forges aycheck
to get $70 bonus
DPS was alerted Monday that a
former University student working
for the University had changed the
amount of his paycheck from $8 to
$80. According to DPS reports, the
check was then cashed for the
incorrect amount.
Air freshener, smoke
from oven trigger
Res Hall fire alarms
DPS officers determined a fire
alarm that sounded Monday at
approximately 11:20 a.m. in Mosher
Jordan Residence Hall was triggered
by air freshener. No other problems
were found.
A separate fire alarm that sound-
ed Monday from the Victor Vaughn
House at 1111 Catherine St. was
caused by something burning in the
oven, staff members told police.
There was no fire and nothing was
damaged.
Door damaged at
Michigan League
over weekend
An unknown person reportedly
maliciously damaged the exterior
door to the Michigan League
Underground sometime Saturday
night, DPS reports state.
It is unknown how or why the
door was damaged.
Computer equipment
stolen from Art and
Architecture Building
A computer monitor, keyboard
*axrd' mouse' were amonrg the items
reported stolen.
DPS officers also believe the per-
petrator possibly forced entry into
several of the victim's cabinets.
In addition, a University-owned
laptop computer in the Medical Sci-
ence Unit II building on Catherine
Street was reported stolen Monday
morning.
Police believe the computer was
stolen over the weekend from a
locked room.
Despite warning,
man illegally enters
closed B-School
An unknown man, described as
being a white, 5-foot-6 male wear-
ing a blue hooded sweatshirt, was
seen trespassing in the Business
Administration Building at 1 a.m.
Monday morning.
Prior to his entry, the suspect was
told by another person that he could
not enter the closed building, DPS
reports state.
Officers could not locate the man
upon their arrival.

Woman may have
had stroke in South
Quad Dinning Hall
Persons in South Quad Residence
Hall requested an ambulance Mon-
day after believing a woman in Din-
ing Room 2 was suffering from a
stroke.
The woman was reportedly con-
scious and breathing at the time of
the call, DPS reports state.
The woman's current condition is
unknown.
Big House pillar
damaged, car
may be to blame
A brick and cement pillar near
Michigan Stadium was damaged
sometime Saturday. DPS has no
suspects but believes a vehicle
caused the damage.
Reported car
break-in while
owner in meeting~

LANSING (AP) - Michigan would lose at least
$125 million a year in tax revenues if lawmakers
approve President Bush's latest economic stimulus
package, according to a report released yesterday
by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
"One of the most astounding features of the plan
. is that there is no fiscal relief for the states," said
the report's author, budget analyst Iris Lav.
Michigan Republican Party Chairman Rusty
Hills defended Bush's plan, saying the center's
analysis is flawed because it doesn't consider
whether the plan will create more jobs.
"It's going to help create jobs, and the more
people that go to work, the more the state

will earn in tax revenues," he said. "There's
benefits for everybody across the board. This
is the right tonic at the right time."
The Washington-based Center on Budget and
Policy Priorities is liberal-leaning but has a reputa-
tion for evenhanded analysis.
Bush's proposal, announced Tuesday, would
accelerate tax cuts scheduled for 2004 and
2006 and eliminate the tax on corporate divi-
dend payments.
Lav said the dividend cut would be the costliest
measure for states, reducing revenue by $4.5 billion
per year to 43 states.
According to Lav's analysis, Michigan would

have the ninth-highest amount of revenue losses,
behind California, New York, Ohio, Massachusetts,
North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Michigan would be better off than some
states because it wouldn't be affected by
Bush's plan to increase the amount that small
businesses can deduct for business invest-.
ments. California and Michigan have their
own business tax systems that don't work in
tandem with the federal system.
Lav said states would be better served by a
Democratic proposal that would give $31 billion
directly to state governments. States already are
facing budget deficits of around $50 billion in

2003, she said. Further cuts could lead to more lay-
offs, lower benefit payments and lower reimburse-
ment rates for services.
"The best thing the federal government can do
right now is supply some aid and avoid putting
costs on states," she said.
Lav said one option discussed in a White
House conference call with governors Tues-
day night was that states could continue to
tax dividends independently.
But she said that option could be short-lived,
because companies may want to stop producing the
forms required for dividend taxes if the federal gov-
ernment doesn't need them.

Slide show

Nissan makes move to Big
Three's truck industry

DETROIT (AP) - Nissan Motor Co. rolled into the
full-size truck market Tuesday with its offering called
the Titan, a hulking truck that the company's chief
executive said will play an important role in the
automaker's ongoing turnaround.
"We've had some good vibrations coming from the
Titan," said Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn after the new
truck made its debut at the North American Interna-
tional Auto Show. "It's good to start like this. When
you start like this, chances that it's going to be a com-
mercial success are very high."
Nissan will compete in a market long dominated by
domestic pickups from Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and
Dodge. The first foreign challenger, the Toyota Tundra,
entered the mix a few years ago and has done well for
the Japanese automaker.
The Titan has a towing capacity of up to 9,400
pounds and features door handles, control knobs and a
steering wheel designed for easy operation while wear-
ing work gloves.
The 2004 model has a 5.6-liter, V-8 engine with more
than 300 horsepower.
But it also has luxury touches, such as a driver's seat
memory system, heated front seats and adjustable cuphold-
ers. The rear doors can be opened 180 degrees rearward.
The truck will be in showrooms late this year. Pricing has
not been established.
The Titan will be built at Nissan's new manufacturing
facility in Canton, Miss., a $1.43 billion investment for a

company that was on the brink of bankruptcy just a few
years ago.
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Before the arrival of Ghosn, who moved to Nissan
from Renault, Nissan had lost money in the last seven
years out of eight as it tried to keep up with Toyota
Motor Corp., Japan's top automaker, in product lineup
and market share.
Nissan has returned to profitability through selling off
money-losing businesses and cutting costs by sharing parts
and research with Renault.
In November, Nissan reported a 25 percent rise in profit
for the first half of its fiscal year as sales rose 10 percent.
The results marked a company record for the fifth straight
fiscal half-year.
Nissan is in the middle of a three-year revival plan
that calls for selling one million more cars in three
years, achieving industry-leading profit margins and
eliminating debt.
Ghosn said the company has accomplished its goal
for profit margins and should be debt free in the next
year. The company's automotive debts totaled $19 bil-
lion four years ago.
Ghosn said Nissan has plans to sell 250,000 passenger
cars in China by 2006, but more importantly in the near
term is the success of its products in the U.S., such as the
Titan, 350Z, Altima and Infiniti G35.

DAVID KATZ/Daily
LSA senior Ethan Orley shows Ann Arbor resident Debra Westrum
his slide film from Italy where he traveled over Winter break.

Internet sales tax bill looms
over state Legislature

LANSING (AP) - There soon may
be no way to avoid paying the sales tax
on Internet and catalog purchases in
Michigan as state lawmakers appear
poised to consider a bill to collect those
taxes.
"The legislation'Woul'd bebsed on an
agreement recently reached by a group
of 33 states, including Michigan. It's
intended to create more uniform tax
laws so taxes on purchases made across
state lines can be more easily collected.
Michigan's budget woes are giving a
boost to the bill, which would bring in
an estimated $100 million to $300 mil-
lion in sales and use tax revenue that
now goes uncollected each year,
according to the nonpartisan Senate
Fiscal Agency.
However, the national agreement
calls for states to pay for some of the
collection system, which would include
computer software for retailers to
report sales tax revenues and which
state should collect it.
The agreement would be volun-
tary for retailers who do business in
different states, said Ellen Marshall,
spokeswoman for the Streamlined
Sales Tax Project.
Simplifying the tax code would make
it more attractive for retailers to collect
sales tax, state Treasury spokesman
Terry Stanton said yesterday.
Many online retailers say it's too
difficult to figure out the patchwork
of sales taxes across the nation and
make sure the money is collected
and sent to the states from which
residents are making online and cat-
alog purchases.
Consumers are required to pay sales
tax on purchases made online, over the
telephone and by mail, but people don't
always pay it and the state doesn't go
after them.
Ads link
SUVs and
terrorsm
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A group
hoping to lessen U.S. reliance on
foreign oil yesterday debuted two
television ads that link gas-guzzling
sport utility vehicles to terrorist
funding.
The ads mimic spots that link drug
money to terrorism.
One commercial features a child's
voiceoveraand shows a man filling
his gas tank and footage of terrorist

"It's not a new tax, it's a fairness issue
that will help keep some people in
business"
- Rick Johnson
(R-LeRoy)

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In Michigan, the 6 percent sales tax
accounts for 28 percent of the state's
total tax revenue, Stanton said. The
sales tax brought in about $6.5 billion
last year, he said.
Michigan's single sales tax rate puts
it ahead of other states where officials
have to figure out how to collect differ-
ent local and state taxes to create a uni-
form system, Stanton said.
"The state is between 80 and 90 per-
cent compliant with the agreement
now," he said. "Some sales and tax
statutes would have to be changed in
legislation, but we wouldn't be starting
from scratch."
Under the national agreement, a
business would charge the appropriate
tax at the time of purchase and then
electronically submit the tax informa-
tion to the state, said Eric Rule of the
Michigan Retailers Association.
Proposed legislation may contain
some tax credits for retailers to pur-
chase the electronic equipment, he said.
Supporters of the Streamlined Sales
Tax Project, including Democratic Gov.
Jennifer Granholm and Republican
House Speaker Rick Johnson, say it
would level the playing field between
Michigan retailers and out-of-state
merchants who sell through catalogs
and the Internet.
"The mom and pop stores have been
calling me about it," said Johnson, of
LeRoy. "It's not a new tax, it's a fair-

ness issue that will help keep some
people in business."
Despite the support of Johnson and
Granholm, the bill isn't likely to receive
quick approval from the GOP-'con-
trolled Legislature.
Two years ago, the House narrowly
approved a bill to allow Michigan to
participate in the national group's
efforts to develop a way to collect
taxes. A number of Republicans think
the bill will mean new taxes and stifle
economic growth.
Rep. Leon Drolet, a Republican from
Macomb County's Clinton Township,
said the bill may have a hard time in the
current Legislature, which he considers
more conservative than the one that left
office Dec. 31.
Although the state faces a deficit and
could use the money, the slow economy
is hurting taxpayers as well, he said.
"We don't need the money, the peo-
ple need the money to keep the econo-
my going," Drolet said.
The bill to participate in the national
Streamlined Sales Tax Project expired
on Dec. 31. Johnson said the House
may consider a bill to extend the state's
participation in the group.
Michigan doesn't need to be in
the group to be part of the most
recent agreement on collecting
sales taxes across state lines. But it
may need to be a member to be part
of any future agreements.

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Ann Arbor -
The University of Michigan
Board for Student
Publications
is recruitin to replace members whose terms
expire in May 2003. The Board is looking at members of
the University Community-faculty, staff & students-who
have experience and expertise in finance, development or
architecture.

- ..T : Alcohol alone is the most
commonly used date-rape
drug. Sexual predators look
for vulnerable people to
assault.

The Board is
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