Proposal To Raise Michigan Sales Tax for Roads

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LANSING (WILX)-- There's no doubt, Michigan's roads are in bad condition. The state needs more than a billion dollars to fix them up. But are better roads worth paying more at the check out line?

Senator Rick Jones (R) feels he's found the solution, and is proposing to raise the states sales tax to 7%.

"I think people would vote for one penny on the sales tax. It would be locked into only roads and bridges," said Jones.

Raising the state sales tax from 6% to 7% would generate the money needed within a year.

"A penny in the sales tax generate over a billion dollars. Every time you spend a dollar you would have a penny going to roads and bridges," said Jones.

If approved by lawmakers the proposal would be put on the November ballot.
It would substitute Governor Snyder's gas tax proposal he gave earlier this year.

"Nobody wants to pay more gas tax, and nobody wants to see their license plates doubled," said Jones.

There's already some support for the proposal at the Capitol, but some representatives are looking for a quicker solution if there's one out there.

"If you wait until November, you've now missed construction season. You have to try to collect that money and try to fix the roads going into the winter. Timing is always a concern," said Rep. Andy Schor (D).

Doug Klein from the Mason Chamber of Commerce says they're not quick to oppose or approve of the sales tax increase, but understand the need.

"Anytime goods or services cost a little more money it's something that may have an effect. No matter if it's one percent or ten percent. But, I feel like small businesses and large businesses would also agree that we need to do something about our roads," said Doug Klein with the Mason Chamber of Commerce.

This plan would not raise the tax on food or medicine.

Here's what the one-percent hike would look like:

You currently pay a $1.20 in sales tax for a $20 dollar shirt.

This plan would raise it to a $1.40.

Senator Jones says he wants to drum up more support before introducing it in the Senate.

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