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Senate leader introduces another option for road funds: sales tax

person paying with a credit card on a square machine
Patrick Tomasso

The state Senate Republican leader has put the sales tax on the table as a possible way to fund road repairs. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders have re-started talks on how to pay for roads.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) says he wants Michigan’s sales tax to be part of the discussions. Shirkey says that could be either expanding the list of what can be taxed. Or increasing the sales tax rate, which is currently six cents on the dollar.

Shirkey says the sales tax would be a steady source of revenue.

“My focus is to make sure that whatever we do has the best chance to be sustainable and we don’t have to re-visit it again and again and again,” he said.

Republican leaders have already rejected the governor’s proposed 45-cent per gallon fuel tax hike.

Neither the governor’s office nor a spokesman for House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) would comment on whether Shirkey’s idea is or should be part of their discussions.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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