Near the end of last year we reported that there will be a ballot initiative aimed at fixing Michigan’s roads through a one cent sales tax increase (it’s a bit more complicated than that as governmental machinations usually are, but that’s the gist of it).

The State legislature had no stomach for doing anything but putting road funding the hands of voters, so in the next couple of months we’re going to see a slew of ads on both sides of the debate before the vote on May 5.

One thing is clear; Michigan’s roads as a total disaster and there is no plan B.

Here’s what a pro-proposal 1 group says along with the statement they released today:

  • Proposal 1 raises $1.2 billion in new transportation money each year: revenues that must, under our constitution, go to transportation and to fix our roads and bridges.
  • Proposal 1 gives Michigan taxpayers three strong guarantees:
  1. Every penny in state taxes we pay at the pump is guaranteed to go to transportation. Proposal 1 ends the shell game played by the politicians in Lansing that shifts gas taxes to non-transportation purposes.
  2. Every penny in the School Aid Fund is guaranteed in the constitution to fund education where it helps our kids the most: our K-12 schools and community colleges. No more shell games with education funding.
  3. Taxpayers even get guarantees from the road builders for local road projects. Road builders would have to provide guarantees in the form of warranties on the roads they build. If the roads are not built right, the road builders — not taxpayers — will pay for the repairs.

Many are weary of the proposal. In the flash poll we did back in December, 83% of readers were against the increase. It will be interesting to see if the advertising or the debate moves the needle, in what looks to be a vigorous campaign. If not this ballot measure, what would you do?

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