Final ballot proposal language "is deceptive"
The ballot language on May 5 will read:
A proposal to amend the State Constitution to increase the sales/use tax
from 6% to 7% to replace 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
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
- increase vehicle registration fees, and dedicate revenue for
- roads and other transportation purposes.
- Expand competitive bidding and warranties for road
- Increase earned income tax credit.
ROAD FUNDING....THE REST OF THE
The “fix” is in. Many in Lansing would have you believe that the
only solution to our crumbling roads is to raise taxes.
They promote statistics like “Michigan ranks last among the
50 states in per capita road expenditures”. These headlines are
designed to lead citizens to the conclusion that we simply don’t
pay enough in taxes.
Funny thing about the per capita road spending statistic… only the mafia
prices out pavement contracts based on the number of bodies. Road
construction projects are typically priced out according to the number of
miles to be paved. Guess where Michigan ranks when it comes to how many
dollars per mile we spend on our roads? 13th. In fact, Michigan spends 53%
more per mile than the national average (SOURCE: Reason Foundation, www.reason.org/studies/show/20th-annual-highway-report ). This
information would tend to lead citizens to a much different conclusion.
Perhaps we have a problem with how we are spending the $3.3B already
allocated to transportation?
In support of this assertion, we should note that Indiana spends roughly
the same amount per mile on their roads. Do you know where they ranked
in pavement condition? #1. Do you know where Michigan ranked in the
same analysis? 43rd. Clearly, the solution to our transportation infrastructure
woes needs to look at much more than tax revenue.
If the recent “road solution” would have passed as proposed, we would have
been paying $0.44/gallon more at the pump and that assumes that the price
of gas itself remained constant. For every dollar increase in the price of gas,
the tax on gas would have increased another $0.07/gallon. If it would have
passed we would have been treated to one of the largest tax increases in
Furthermore, the increase in the diesel tax from $0.15/gallon to $0.19/gallon
would have not only increased the price of fuel for truckers, it would have
further increased the price of the goods they transport on our behalf such as
The backup plan to this approach was to put a 1% sales tax increase on the
ballot for voters to decide. Once again, the focus was on a tax increase as the
Should this proposal be adopted?
As you can see, the proposal scurrilously lists repealing gas taxes at the top of
the list while burying the fact them replaces it with similar taxes way down in
the list, and without mentioning that the replacement taxes are higher!
Concerned Taxpayers of Michigan made news when we were the first
(and only) group to urge the Director of Elections "don't lie to voters."
We got ballot language that is less deceptive than the language proposed
last year by the lawmakers that put the issue on the ballot.
But that is not saying much.
Voters are not going to be given the whole truth, not on the ballot.
Cast your educated vote on May 5th.