In an EPIC-MRA poll released on May 1, both likely voters and certain voters answered they would vote no on proposal 1 on May 5 by a margin of two to one against those who plan to vote yes. Proposal 1, if passed, would increase Michigan’s sales tax from 6% to 7%, and trigger ten more bills pending approval that would increase more taxes.
The raise in sales tax would actually be a 17% increase, not the ‘one penny more’ argument some supporters have used to promote a yes vote. This means most Michiganians will see a tax increase anywhere from $250 to as much as $1,300, depending on how many vehicles they own, including boats, off road vehicles, and lawn mowers. There’s also a new tax for electric cars, and license plate fees will no longer decrease with the depreciation value of the car.
Incentives to vote for Proposal 1 aren’t enough for the majority of voters. The restoration of the Earned Income Credit won’t help nearly enough with offsetting the increased sales taxes, which always make a bigger impact on the poor. The $75 per-pupil K-12 tuition increase will be offset by cuts the state has made that takes more money out of school funding. What many people also don’t realize is it will be 2 to 3 years before their increased taxes actually pay for road repairs, as most of the money the tax generates will go to paying money owed for road repairs already completed.
What’s unique about this election is that people on the far right and the left both intend to vote no on Tuesday. The tea party has a whole list of budget cuts they want to make, including cutting health care for poor children, cutting money from education, libraries, economic development, as well as an across the board 10% in spending for everything. I’m sure the tea party looks forward to more prisoners being released early, and who needs schools and libraries anyway? What’s most ironic is the new tone the tea party has taken with this proposal, saying the poor can’t afford the new taxes, yet they haven’t changed one bit of their ideology when it comes to actually helping the poor.
On the left the problems with Proposal 1 are the hidden language in some of the bills that will be triggered with passage, and the already stated fact that it will be 2018 before any money from the increased tax will pay for fixing roads. K-12 funding language in Michigan’s law will be rewritten to include other institutions. How much money will our public schools actually be getting after the corporations get their fill from the school fund trough? What progressives would like to see is for corporations enjoying their $2 billion tax cuts from 2011 pay more taxes to maintain the roads they put the most wear and tear on. This is the most logical, common sense thing to do, which is why Republicans will never do it.
Unless the election day is in November, turnout to vote is always very small. Snyder and Safe Roads Yes are counting on people staying home so this proposal passes. Voting yes on Tuesday will not make all the potholes and crumbling bridges magically disappear overnight. It’s years before any money will go to new roads, while Michiganians will pay more taxes right away. Too many hidden changes to the law, and Snyder once again wants to increase taxes on the people who can’t afford to pay more. Proposal 1 is likely going down on May 5, and that’s not a bad thing. Rick Snyder is considering a run for president. An overwhelming defeat, especially from your own party, isn’t an easy thing to campaign on.