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Looking At Proposal 1

Here’s what voters will see on the May 5 ballot:

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO INCREASE THE SALES/USE TAX FROM 6% TO 7%. TO REPLACE AND SUPPLEMENT REDUCED REVENUE TO THE SCHOOL AID FUND AND LOCAL UNITS OF GOVERNMENT CAUSED BY THE ELIMINATION OF THE SALES/USE TAX ON GASOLINE AND DIESEL FUEL FOR VEHICLES OPERATING ON PUBLIC ROADS, AND TO GIVE EFFECT TO LAWS THAT PROVIDE ADDITIONAL MONEY FOR ROADS AND OTHER TRANSPORTATION PURPOSES BY INCREASING THE GAS TAX AND VEHICLE REGISTRATION FEES.

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Eliminate sales / use taxes on gasoline / diesel fuel for vehicles on public roads.
  • Increase portion of use tax dedicated to School Aid Fund (SAF).
  • Expand use of SAF to community colleges and career / technical education, and prohibit use for 4-year colleges / universities.
  • Give effect to laws, including those that: Increase sales / use tax to 7%, as authorized by constitutional amendment; Increase gasoline / diesel fuel tax and adjust annually for inflation, increase vehicle registration fees, and dedicate revenue for roads and other transportation purposes; Expand competitive bidding and warranties for road projects; Increase earned income tax credit.

Should this proposal be adopted? Yes or No.

Laura Weber-Davis discusses the complicated roads proposal that Michigan voters will decide on in May with guests including Detroit Free Press columnist Brian DickersonDetroit Regional Chamber of Congress’ Vice President for Government Relations Brad Williams and former head of Ross Medical Education and Founder of the Coalition Against Higher Taxes Paul Mitchell. The special election in May will be used to determine whether the state will be take further action on this issue that impacts many aspects of life in the city and in the state. The host and guests explains what Proposal 1 means for funding roads and why people are supporting or opposed to it passing.

Brian Dickerson relates “that repair costs of all kinds for Michigan drivers far exceed those of nearby states and the national average.” He breaks down the proposal’s intentions to change the state’s fuel taxes that are essentially ineffective. In the current situation the state’s fuel and sales taxes are not adjusted properly for modern costs and even if they were the State spends money collected from them on things other than the road system including Public Education and individual cities. Proposal 1 attempts to solve these problems by increasing these taxes and then allowing the money to be used specifically on the roads and transit issues.

Brad Williams wants supporters for the Proposal to know that “we need to invest more if we want to have a safe and efficient road system” and Proposal 1’s plan might mean higher taxes and costs but if Michigan wants its road systems to be comparable to the rest of the nation the people will need to put more in. On the opposite side Paul Mitchell questions whether the proposal is reasonable because the package does not explicitly focus on road repair and maintenance. Mitchel expresses that if Michiganders want a road package they should not be facing taxes and increasing costs without being sure that their money will definitely go back into the roads. He acknowledges “our roads are not good, but we’re not going to pay a ransom,” and the proposal’s roundabout solution to the roads problem is not the solution for him.

 

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