FROM THE LANSING STATE JOURNAL
LANSING – A new group has formed to oppose the sales tax and road funding proposal on the May 5 ballot.
The Coalition Against Higher Taxes and Special Interest Deals registered with the Michigan Secretary of State on Thursday, state records show.
The group’s treasurer, Paul Mitchell of Saginaw County, said in a news release today the complex proposal is “a hodgepodge of bad ideas,” and “our voters deserve better than this.”
The proposal, which would increase the state sales tax to 7% from 6% and remove the sales tax from fuel sales, would raise $1.2 billion a year for road and bridge repairs, $300 million for K-12 schools, $100 million for transit, and about $95 million for local governments.
Mitchell, who spent millions of his own money in an unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination in Michigan’s 4th congressional district in August, said the cost of the proposal totals $2 billion when another piece of legislation linked to the road deal — full restoration of the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families — is included.
“Voters should not have to subsidize the special interest deals with higher taxes in order to fix our roads,” said Mitchell, who is chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition of Michigan, a conservative social and fiscal policy group affiliated with a national group headed by Ralph Reed.
“Special interests were tacked on to this proposal to ensure passage, not because they were the right thing to do.”
Lawmakers sent the plan to the ballot during the lame-duck session in December after they couldn’t agree on a legislative package to raise more than $1 billion extra a year for roads.
Mitchell’s group is the second one formed to oppose the ballot proposal. A group called Protect MI Taxpayers was formed in Grand Rapids and announced in December.
Raising money for the “yes” vote is a group called Michigan Citizens for Better Roads and Schools.
Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4.