Michigan voters to decide on sales tax hike for road repair

Jan 13, 2015

Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation to raise $1.2 billion to repair roads. But, the money all depends on voters approving a tax hike.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

One of the bills signed by the governor will guarantee that all state taxes paid at the pump will go to roads. Increasing the sales tax by a penny on every dollar to 7 percent would ensure schools, local governments and mass transit don’t lose money. A sales tax increase requires a statewide vote.

“Most of you know I’m a fairly frugal CPA. This is a smart investment to make by the citizens of the state of Michigan to invest in our roads, schools, and local governments.” 

The governor says he’s not eager to raise taxes, but this is a critical investment.

“No one likes our roads. It’s a public safety issue. You’re talking nearly 100 lives a year. You’re talking bent rims, blown tires, all these other consequences.”

State Police Director Kristi Etue agreed that fixing roads is a public safety issue.

“We know that crashes have occurred in our state due to people having to avoid massive potholes and the conditions on the road, and with our distracted drivers that are out there, we know that very often they’re not paying any attention as people swerve from lane to lane to avoid these man-eating potholes.”

The governor says he plans to take a prominent role in selling the sales tax increase to voters. The question is on the ballot in May.

A campaign is also forming to oppose the ballot drive as an unnecessary tax hike.