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Michigan Fireworks Safety Fee Sales Tax

  • Jul 6, 2012 | Susan McLain

In January 2012, the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act went into effect. The “…Michigan Fireworks Safety Act allows the sale and use of consumer fireworks such as Roman Candles, Bottle Rockets and other items that leave the ground.” Previously, large pyrotechnic and airborne fireworks have been illegal in Michigan.

According to Al Jones of Mlive, heading to Indiana for the “big” fireworks has been a tradition for years. He states, “It became an annual adventure that started with the notion of doing something you’re not really supposed to do—buying fireworks in one state that are illegal to use in another.”  But he says that it “…always ended with us having some fireworks that make for a really good show.”

The Act now makes it legal to purchase those fun, loud “pyrotechnic” fireworks in Michigan. A seller in Michigan must complete an application and “…must pay an application fee of $1000 for a permanent building or structure or $600 for a retail location that is not a permanent building or structure. The location must meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requirements.”

The seller must also have a current sales tax license as they will need to collect the Fireworks Safety Fee, “…a 6% safety fee collected in addition to the 6% sales tax collected by the retailer on the retail sales of both consumer and low-impact fireworks. The fees are used to fund the operations of the Bureau of Fire Services and firefighter training.”

Al Jones indicates that “The Fireworks Safety Act attempts to keep Michigan people spending their money in Michigan. But I’m not sure what, if anything, it does to make fireworks any safer. It collects a 6 percent fee on each sale that the state is supposed to use to compensate fire departments for monitoring fireworks sales. But, I’m not sure what, if anything, that does to make fireworks safer.”

Now, many families won’t have to travel to Indiana on a clandestine trip to buy fireworks that are no longer illegal in Michigan, so Al thinks Michiganers should be happy. They only have to visit a local fireworks booth or supermarket parking lot not.

“But where’s the adventure in that?” he asks.

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Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”