This May voters in Michigan will go to the polls, but not to elect any politicians. We will be asked whether the legislature should raise the state sales tax. Sounds simple enough. One percent is a tiny amount, right?
Some states have no sales tax. Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire to name a few. Some of these have local taxes, but nothing as high as 6 percent. In fact, in most states where there is a sales tax, it’s less than 6 percent. Just a few states have a sales tax of 7 percent or higher. In many states the sales tax is below 5 percent. But our governor has found that the only way to get money to fix the roads in our state is to charge you more, every time you buy something. Oakland County Sen. Mike Kowall thinks there is no other way than this $2 billion tax increase.
The Mackinac Center has suggested over 200 ways to pay for roads without cutting school aid funding or Medicaid but the governor isn’t interested. It’s easier to just raise our taxes. Even when we elect legislators who claim to be fiscally responsible, they bow to the pressures of the governor.
Raising the sales tax in Michigan, along with all the Federal tax increases that were hidden in the Obamacare legislation, not to mention increased premiums and higher deductibles that will take effect this year, is going to make it harder and harder to get by. The middle class is shrinking. Our incomes are shrinking. Raising the sales tax will only cut into the amount we will be spending.
The push is already on to motivate voters to agree to the sales tax increase. I heard a County Road Commissioner claiming the roads won’t get plowed if we don’t raise the sales tax. Will that extra one percent actually go toward road improvements. Of course not. At least, not all of it. The increase will go toward welfare programs and schools not just toward roads.
It may be only one percent, but it will add up. If the Mackinac Center can find the money without raising taxes, why can’t our legislators. I am taxed enough already.
A letter to the Editor published in the Livingston Daily