Many roads in Mid-Michigan need some major TLC, but at what expense?

It’s a debate that’s growing and will be settled on the election ballot.

“It’s going to cost the citizens of Michigan $2 billion a year forever for this deal, and I think they need to know that,” Paul Mitchell said.

Mitchell is against the road funding ballot initiative proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder. The former congressional candidate has decided to fund a media campaign fighting it. He said solving the road riddle is important, but this plan isn’t the answer.

If the proposal passes, the general sales tax would increase from 6 percent to 7 percent, effective Oct. 1, creating $1.3 billion in revenue. The lion’s share of that, $1.2 billion, will go to roads.

Mass transit would get $130 million, schools would receive $300 million, while local governments would receive $95 million.

Mitchell believes this proposed tax increase is wrong for the state.

“Going from 6 percent to 7 percent is a 16 percent increase. It’s not 1 percent. It’s a 16 percent increase. It gives Michigan the second highest state sales tax in the country,” Mitchell said.

Jimmy Greene, head of Associated Builders and Contractors, supports the measure. He said it’s good for the roads and good for the economy. He admits there are items in the proposal that he doesn’t agree with.

“[I don’t] see anything that’s a better initiative than the ballot that’s being put in front of us in May,” Greene said.

Greene and Mitchell agree on one thing. They both think the voters are not in a spending mood.

“I don’t see enough momentum behind it and I think the people that need to be behind it aren’t,” Greene said.

You will be able to vote on this proposal on the May 5 ballot.