LANSING, MI (WLNS) – The Republican Speaker of the House is saying for the first time that he is willing to raise taxes to fix the roads.
However, Jase Bolger is telling 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick that he wants something in return from the democrats, as the delicate talks continue.
Skubick: “If we run the story tonight that the speaker of the house is willing to raise new revenue through a tax increase, would that be accurate?”
“I’m open to that,” said republican Speaker of the House Jase Bolger.
Skubick: “That’s good news?”
Bolger: “You always make good news.”
This is good news for the governor because up until right now, his GOP house speaker has staunchly opposed raising any taxes to fix the roads.
However there is no deal on which taxes to raise. There could be a sales tax on services, a tax on internet sales, and who knows what all.
The governor’s chief lobbyist says there aren’t there yet.
The speaker says if he’s willing to move off a zero tax hike, the democrats are willing to reduce the $1.2 billion road fix figure.
The house democratic leader did not say he would cut that number, but he does say he wants some tax relief attached to this package.
“Is there a way to provide some tax relief to those who need it and have been paying higher taxes in the past few years,” said Tim Greimel, house democratic leader.
These are some of the anti-tax citizens who are telling lawmakers to kill any tax hike.
“I’ve knocked on 10,000 doors and I can tell you the vast majority of people don’t want a tax increase but they do want the roads fixed,” said Matt Maddock, Americans for Prosperity.
Skubick: “Can you have it both ways?”
“We do need the additional revenue,” said State Representative Marilyn Lane, (r), Fraser.
By the end of next week we’ll know which side wins the tax hike debate.