LANSING (WWJ) – Lawmakers in Lansing are tossing around the idea of eliminating the gas tax in Michigan in favor of raising the state’s sales tax.
“I was at a panel last [Wed.] night with Randy Richardville, the Senate Republican Leader, and they are thinking, please underscore thinking, they are thinking about putting on the ballot in August a sales tax proposal. It is a tax shift that would eliminate the 19 cent per gallon gas tax,” said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick.
It’s not as simple as it seems, however.
“They would increase the sales tax from six to seven percent, and then take that additional revenue and plunk that into the roads rather than the gas tax,” said Skubick.
Does that mean that gas in Michigan would go down 19 cents a gallon?
“Yes, but don’t get excited. The gas tax comes off the pump, but your going to pay more in the sales tax and that money will be going to the roads,” said Skubick.
The idea is conflicting lawmakers who know the roads are bad, but don’t want to force another tax hike in an election year.
“So, they can go home and say ‘You know what we did folks? We put this on the ballot in August for you guys to decide. Now, I may not vote for it, but what’s wrong with putting it on the ballot and then letting you decide whether you want to raise you own taxes to fix the roads,'” said Skubick.
It’s all part of reaching the $1.4 billion goal Gov. Rick Snyder set to fix the state’s transportation funding issues.
“So far, he’s got no votes to get there, and maybe if they put this on the ballot in August, he might be able to get a piece of that,” said Skubick.