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Michigan proposal 1 is on May 5

By Joe Zylka
News Editor

i-voted-button1A special statewide election on May 5 will decide whether Michigan residents want to raise the sales tax from 6 to 7 percent in an effort to fix the state’s crumbling roads.

The proposal, if passed, would add approximately $1.25 billion in additional revenue per year. According to MLive, the first few years of the plan’s implementation will be funneled toward paying off past construction projects.

“The funding starts out paying off long-term debt, with some to repairs,” said Gideon D’Assandro, a spokesperson for Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter, in an interview with MLive. “Then, as actual road work capacity increases, so does the proportion dedicated to repairs.”

The Michigan House Fiscal Agency reported that over $860 million would be spent on debt repayment for completed road projects in fiscal year 2016, and $425 million would be spent on debt repayment in fiscal year 2017. Because of the debt, the full $1.25 billion per year that this plan raises would not go entirely to the roads until fiscal year 2018.

The proposal, if approved, would also enact 10 other laws, including a higher wholesale fuel tax, further expand Earned Income Tax Credit, eliminate registration fee discounts and require more construction permits.