Op-Ed: Proposal 1 Also Brings Higher Gas Tax

Voters may not realize that if Proposal 1 passes on May 5, it will initiate 10 laws. The opinion expressed by Sue Ann Douglas in this Op-Ed is her own and does not constitute an endorsement by Rochester Media. The information Ms. Douglas is referencing comes from the Detroit Free Press article: Proposal 1’s passage would trigger these 10 laws.

By Sue Ann Douglas

Please note the section on the gas tax  – Remove, replace fuel tax.

While it is true that the new gas tax will go only to transportation of which roads and bridges are only one piece (89% will be spent on roads and bridges; 9% going to public transit and rail, and 2% to a recreation improvement account for DNR to support watercraft, snowmobiles and off-road vehicles), the base gas tax will be 41.7 cents per gallon and will increase up to 5 cents per gallon each year depending on the cost of living – forever. There is no provision for lowering the gas tax if the cost of living falls below the start date. Remember: the money does not go 100% to roads and bridges, which could use every penny and this is supposed to be what this ballot question is all about.

Also, please note that the bulk of the new funds will be used to pay down M-DOT accumulated debt over the first 2 years. Also please note that by 2018, the gas tax alone will bring in $1.3 billion a year!

This means that the road needs could probably be funded with the new gas tax alone and has to raise the question of what the one-cent increase in the sakes tax is all about.

I guess this becomes obvious when you read the entire article. Some goes to replace school losses from the loss of the gas tax for school funding but – it doesn’t take an entire one-cent to fund any losses caused by repealing the current retail gas tax. It could be a fraction of a percent but, NO, the legislature added all of the ornaments it could to spend every penny on special interests.

Remember, government will spend every penny it gets and the sales tax is forever even if it is not really needed in the future.

This is a really bad proposal.

I’m voting NO. But, I would support a reasonable proposal that put every penny into roads and bridges – just roads & bridges and a small amount to just replace the school tax – that’s it.


About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at sarah@rochestermedia.com.

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