Voters in Michigan sent a clear message to the state on a proposed sales tax increase in a May 5th election. A whopping 85% of voters rejected the measure! Had it been approved, Proposal 1 would have gained Michigan an estimated $2 billion in additional taxes. While this proposed tax increase was intended for road repairs, there were a lot of bells and whistles attached making it seem more like a politicians money grab. In many precincts this was the only proposal on the ballot, presented in a typically low voter turnout May election.
Besides raising the sales tax from 6% to 7%, the bells and whistles on Proposal 1 included: 1. Increased automobile registration fees (no specifics were included) 2. Increased gas and use taxes, and changes in how they are collected 3. Increases to the School Aid Fund 4. Expansion of the school aid fund to community colleges (but not four year colleges), and finally 5. Increases to the earned income tax credit. Somebody was sure to be happy with all this new found wealth, but likely not Michigan drivers. The roads in Michigan should be the best in nation based on the high taxes and fees Michigan residents currently pay for driving in their state.
An organization identified as Safe Roads Yes! distributed a bulk mail flyer touting the proposal as being “what is best for Michigan” and “a way to attract more jobs.” It would seem that the roads in Michigan are in such bad shape that commerce is being lost, equaling less jobs. The flyer quotes another source indicating that “Michigan would fall into further decline without this measure being passed.” It’s also interesting to note that one of the heavily emphasized benefits of this proposal is that road builders would be required to warranty their work. Who knew this was such a problem in the first place? Does the state already make a practice of hiring companies that refuse to guarantee their work? Is this why Michigan’s roads are in such bad shape? Actually, the real the question in all of this is whether or not Michigan’s roads are really that bad in the first place. There were major road and freeway construction projects going on all over the state last summer.
It would almost seem this measure was smoke and mirrors to pay for President Obama’s plan to offer “free” community college. Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder, who has hinted at a presidential run, supported the money grabbing measure.
Michigan residents made it very clear they were not up for getting duped on this government overreach. Way to go, Michigan voters!
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