proposal 1

James Marvin Phelps

On the ballot this election is a proposal to change how Michigan spends the money it gets from oil and gas production.

Right now the state uses oil and gas dollars to buy and maintain public lands, and for nothing else.

 

Under Proposal 1 this program would continue in perpetuity.

Gov. Rick Snyder is in New York City today and tomorrow.

He's holding meetings, ringing the opening bell on Wall Street, and still selling Michigan's "comeback" story.

Peter Payette

Michigan voters have soundly rejected Proposal One, Governor Rick Snyder’s $2 billion dollar plan to fund road repairs without siphoning money from schools and local governments. The loss sends the governor and the Legislature back to the bargaining table because almost everyone still agrees the roads are bad.

    

A week from today we’ll know the results of Proposal 1, the ballot measure that changes how fuel is taxed in Michigan to fund road repairs. It also increases the sales tax from 6% to 7%. Some of the extra revenue would go to schools.

It’s a controversial measure. There are vocal supporters and vocal opponents, but what will that actually mean in terms of voter turnout?

A majority of Michigan's 148 state legislators did not respond to an Associated Press survey asking them how they'll vote on next Tuesday's road-funding ballot proposal.

As Dave Eggert with the Associated Press reports:

Thirty-one, or 21 percent, of the Republican-controlled Legislature's 148 members sent back responses to a short email with three questions. The vast majority — 23 — came from among 58 Democrats, with all but one saying they would vote for the constitutional amendment. Of the eight Republicans who answered out of 90, three were in support.

The Next Idea 

As we near the vote to raise the sales tax to fund our abysmal roads, we’ve heard this question come up quite a bit these last few months:

“Why couldn’t the Legislature just do the job they were elected to do instead of passing responsibility off to the voters?”

The short answer -- and you’re not going to like this -- is that it is not their fault.

It’s ours.

Three weeks from now, we will know the fate of Proposal 1, the plan that would raise around $1.2 billion for road funding by increasing the state’s sales tax. It would also raise money for schools and restore the earned income tax credit for low- to moderate-income families to the 2011 level.

Road repair isn't the only issue at stake when we head to the polls next month to decide the fate of Proposal 1. The Earned Income Tax Credit is part of that proposal. The program is designed to help the working poor, but was scaled back in Michigan in 2011.

State lawmakers have approved boosting the EITC if voters approve the road funding ballot proposal that would raise the sales tax from six percent to seven percent. Nearly 800,000 low-to-moderate income families in Michigan could see this targeted tax relief expanded if the proposal passes.