LANSING – State Representative Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores) voted no today on the latest Republican roads plan that gives the biggest income tax cut to Michigan’s wealthiest people and cuts $600 million from education, revenue sharing that funds police and fire services in our communities, and health care programs.
“What the Republicans sprung on us tonight is not a serious plan to fix and maintain our roads,” said Roberts. “This plan is a shell game that doesn’t even come close to raising the minimum amount we need to begin to fix our road problems until 2021. In the meantime, it only generates a little more than $400 million a year, while cutting more money from our schools, our local government services, and health care.”
Roberts and her house Democratic colleagues rejected the plan because it is unsustainable and prioritizes tax breaks for the wealthy over funding for roads and critically important state programs. In particular, the House Republican plan:
- Fails to identify where $600 million in funding cuts will be made, and fails to guarantee that public safety, education and health care funding will be protected.
- Offers income tax breaks targeted at helping millionaires and billionaires, while leaving regular working families to shoulder the burden of program cuts and road funding.
- Tarnishes the Homestead Property Tax Credit by including a $600 million cut to the existing budget that funds schools, police departments and health care agencies.
- Will only generate $400 million of the $1.2 billion needed annually for road funding in its first two years, and won’t reach $1.2 billion in annual funds until fiscal year 2021 – meaning Michigan’s roads will continue to deteriorate for years to come.
“This is an irresponsible plan that forces middle-class families to pay the biggest cost to fix and maintain our roads,” said Roberts. “I can’t support a plan that takes care of our wealthiest Michiganders with a generous tax cut, while other families will be left with a tax cut that probably won’t even cover the extra money they’ll be forced to pay in registration fees and at the gas pump.”