Skubick: Local Gov’ts Not In Snyder’s Corner On Sales Tax Hike

(WLNS) – There is one area of the state where 55% of the local officials support a sales tax hike to fix the roads and that is not in Mid-Michigan. The University of Michigan has a survey showing 43% of local officials back the tax hike while 38% would not. Sifting the numbers for us and the implications for the May 5th vote on this, 6 News Capitol correspondent Tim Skubick.

As the governor tries to sell the sales tax increase to fix the roads, local governments around the state are not in his corner.

At least that is the conclusion from a U of M study that was conducted prior to the ballot proposition being finalized by the legislature.

The only region where 55% of local officials want to boost the tax is southwest Michigan.

Support in mid Michigan is 36%, the state-wide numbers show 43% yes and 38% no among local government officials.

“We’re a little surprised that there is not more widespread support to raise the most substantive sources of funding,” said U of M researcher Tom Ivacko. “But when you look at the large jurisdictions there is a fair majority of local leaders who support the sales tax and gas tax.”

For the governor that means if he focuses on the large population areas he’s got a shot at passing this thing. U of M researcher Sarah Mills adds, “There’s already much more interest in the larger jurisdictions in cities where the road condition are the poorest. That’s where most say they might be willing to fix the poor roads.”

Local officials are more enthusiastic about boosting fees on trucks and leasing right of ways on state property. Ivacko adds, “What they did support was the low hanging fruit but that’s not enough to fix the problem.”

If the governor can’t get local officials to vote yes, what are his chances of getting the typical citizen to vote yes? Ivacko’s answer is to the point. “That’s a good question. I don’t know if I have an answer.”

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