Proposal to Raise Sales Tax to pay for Fixing Michigan’s Roads and Bridges Rejected

Proposal to Raise Sales Tax to pay for Fixing Michigan’s Roads and Bridges Rejected

A proposal was made to increase Michigan's sales tax to pay for the repairing of the state's roads and bridges. On Tuesday, the state's voters rejected the proposal.

The proposal was 80% opposed and was 20% in favor. Surveys were carried out before the final vote was conducted and it also indicated that the measure would not succeed.

The $1.9 billion measure included proposals to increase the state sales tax from 6% to 7%; increase motor vehicle fuel taxes and utilize more money in schools and increase an earned income tax credit that will benefit lower income residents.

Michigan's Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said that the measure would be able to raise an additional $1.3 billion that could be used to repair the state's crumbling roads and bridges. Many of the roads and bridges are in poor condition owing to harsh weather, heavy truck traffic and funding cuts.

Those who did not support the measure said that it was an unneeded tax raise for residents who are still recovering from the last recessions. The defeat is a big loss for Gov. Rick Snyder and others who have warned that state's infrastructure is bad shape and is declining even further.

In the measure, money would have also been raised for education, local governments, and public transit. "The taxpayers sent a very clear message today with their rejection of Proposal 1: No new taxes. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the administration and the state Legislature should hear this message loud and clear", said Sen. Jack Brandenburg, a Republican from Macomb County's Harrison Township.

It is said that road funding issues have troubled Michigan since the current structure was passed in 1997. The issue has taken years to reach to a compromise and would take time to come up with an alternative.

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