LANSING — Members of the House Democratic Caucus traveled to the state Capitol today to begin work on a new plan to raise money to fix Michigan’s roads after voters rejected Proposal 1 at the ballot box. Despite polling ahead of the vote showing a likely defeat, Republican House leadership scheduled a day off so GOP representatives could attend the Tulip Time festival in Holland.
“Michigan voters voiced their opinion loud and clear: they want legislators to do their job and fix the roads,” said House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) said. “Unfortunately, rather than getting back to work, House Republicans took a vacation day. My Democratic colleagues and I can’t accept that. Our constituents expect us to work for them, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Proposal 1 would have eliminated the sales tax on gas and diesel fuel and replaced it with a tax on the wholesale level. To fill the hole created in school funding and revenue sharing to local governments, voters were asked to approve raising the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent.
With the defeat of Proposal 1, House Democrats are committed to raising money to repair our crumbling infrastructure without harming schools or local governments. Democrats also seek a fair solution to our funding needs without putting too heavy a burden on individual drivers, too many of whom are already struggling just to get by.
“I can understand the frustration many people expressed yesterday — after being burdened with the new retirement tax and cuts to many areas of the budget, voters were asked to sacrifice,” Greimel said. “I want folks to know that we understand their concerns. While Republicans took the day off to go to a festival, House Democrats are back in Lansing, rolling up our sleeves and working to find a solution where everyone, including corporations, pays their fair share to fix Michigan’s roads and bridges.”