Michigan voters to decide road funding tax hike

Gov. Rick Snyder explains the road funding deal reached by legislators on Dec, 18, 2014.

LANSING, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — A proposed tax hike aimed at improving Michigan’s transportation infrastructure and schools is heading to voters.

The Michigan Legislature has put a sales tax increase on the May statewide ballot as part of a road funding plan.

Boosting the 6 percent sales tax to 7 percent is the centerpiece of a plan to pump $1.3 billion more into transportation infrastructure and at least $300 million more into schools. The required two-thirds of members in the Republican-dominated Senate backed the constitutional amendment early Friday morning. The House approved it earlier Friday morning.

Lawmakers passed a significant increase in the state’s per-gallon gasoline tax that only will take effect if voters approve the sales tax hike along with the elimination of the sales tax that drivers pay at the pump.

If voters decide not to vote on the sales tax increase in May there will be no new funding. The package consisting of eleven bills will go away, which means Gov. Snyder has a lot of work ahead of him to convince voters to approve the sales tax.

“It’s going to require a lot of effort out there, talking to citizens, talking to different groups and constituencies, it’s just part of the process,” said Gov. Snyder. “If you go back to 2012 we had six ballot proposals and I was very active in that process. We had personal property taxes last August and that was successful so our track record is good. This will be good, old-fashioned hard work but that’s what I was hired to do.”

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