Michigan voters reject legislative plan to boost road funding

Michigan voters have put the brakes on a $1.2 billion plan to raise taxes in order to invest more in the state’s roads and bridges. The plan, approved by the Legislature in late 2014 as a constitutional amendment, was soundly defeated at the polls — by a margin of 80 percent to 20 percent.

According to the Detroit Free Press, that marks the most lopsided loss of any proposed amendment to the 52-year-old Michigan Constitution.

The measure would have increased the state’s general sales tax (by 1 cent), raised vehicle-registration fees and established a wholesale gasoline/diesel tax (in place of the per-gallon tax). As of April, tax increases for roads had been signed into law in two Midwestern states. Iowa’s SF 257 increased the gas and diesel tax by 10 cents (to 31 cents for gas and 22.5 cents for diesel). South Dakota’s SB 1 includes a 6-cent-per-gallon gas and ethyl alcohol increase, a 1 percent increase in the motor vehicle excise tax, and a 20 percent increase in license-plate fees.
Most states still rely heavily on a per-gallon gas tax to pay for roads, though Nebraska does levy a wholesale sales tax as part of its road-funding formula.
Stateline Midwest - May 20151.2 MB