Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to start signing bills Monday as part of a package to boost state road funding. The legislation is contingent on a May ballot question that would raise Michigan’s sales tax from six percent to seven percent.
If voters approve the plan, the new revenue is expected to raise more than $1 billion for roads and infrastructure, $300 million for schools, $130 million for mass transit, and almost $100 million for local governments every year.
Opposition to the proposal is already organizing an effort to defeat it. A number of taxpayer groups say lawmakers should take the money from elsewhere in the state budget.
“They found money to give to Hollywood studios through film incentives,” said Keith Allard, who’s leading the coalition to defeat the proposal. “They didn’t make any cuts in corrections – our biggest department – when they had the opportunity. So we sit back and ask, $52 billion, you’ve got to prioritize.”
Allard was speaking over the weekend on the Michigan Public Television Program “Off the Record.”
“It will give Michigan the second highest sales tax in the entire country,” he said.
That’s statewide sales tax. Many other states would still have higher sales taxes in some areas when you factor in local sales taxes, which are not allowed in Michigan.
Supporters of the proposal say it is not realistic for the state to raise the money needed for roads by taking it from other areas of the budget. They say better roads benefit everyone.