|Perfect condition! Not.|
The legislature did finally do something by passing the buck to voters, in the form of Proposal 1 put on the ballot early in 2015. It failed miserably, and while I obviously can't speak for everyone who voted against it, I'm pretty sure that's because it wasn't just about the roads. The ballot measure contained all kinds of additional measures that generated revenue for schools, cities, mass transit and the state's general fund. It even had some tax breaks included. While any or all of those might have been good things, they made for such a complex package that a lot of people didn't even try to understand it - they just voted no.
Now we do finally have a plan, even if it's a pretty poor one. The cost to the taxpayer is about $20 more per vehicle registration, and another 7.3 cents per gallon on the gas tax. There's also a large cut to the general fund, which provides education and public safety funding. And the road funding generated doesn't reach the $1.2 billion level until 2021. There are smaller increases each year until then, which means not all the necessary repairs will get done. By the time we get to 2021, that continued deterioration will mean we'll need even more money. And just in case you thought the plan couldn't be any less realistic, it also includes an income tax cut starting in eight years. As I heard Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry say: "To say this was a case of putting lipstick on a pig would be an insult to both lipstick and pigs."
|Be paying a bit more here soon.|