[Editors note: Be sure to click on FOLLOW at the end of the Article (near comment box) to be notified of the many updates that will come from now and until May 5 (and beyond, cuz the debate wont be over once we defeat Prop1) or to otherwise check the Comments section here-in for updates. And keep an eye on http://saynotohighertaxes.org/news for more too, Concerned Taxpayers of Michigan @ http://michigantaxpayers.com/news.php, as well as the Reply/Comment section of this Article.]

Dear Rattle With Us members and other friends. 
 
 
As you probably already know, Michigan's Legislature and Governor have decided to try and raise the Sales Tax as their current answer to fixing Michigan's crumbling roads. That requires, as Sales Tax amount is capped by MI-Constitution, a vote of the People. That election is on May 5th, but we cannot wait until it is right upon us. There is only a few months of opportunity to influence the outcome of that Election. What follows are a couple of Sample letters. You can, of course, take an opposing view if you choose...
 
Write to Newspapers and/or Websites: share your thoughts on Michigan Roads and how you feel monies should be raised/allocated to that end....
 
DISCLAIMER: RWUW Group is meant to inspire folks to write on any and all issues, PRO OR CON! Any "sample" Letter is strictly the opinion of the Author and (again) provided in hopes of inspiring you to also get involved with writing a Letter To Editor (or respond to a blog on a website) yourself and may or may not be necessarily endorsed by RWU leadership.... 
For info on where to write local Publications see: http://rattlewithus.ning.com/page/writing-contacts
and always, see Rattle With Us TEA Party site homepage: http://rattlewithus.ning.com/
 
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FROM OUR FRIENDS AT RetakeOurGov info@RetakeOurGov.com:
  
Results from the first poll indicate that an informed public will vote against the Snyder Sales Tax proposal. However, uniformed voters support the tax.
If you want a responsible road funding plan that doesn’t increase our sales tax by 16.7% then it is up to you to start informing your friends and neighbors. Absentee ballots for the May 5 vote will likely be mailed out two months from now, in early April.
(Note: Governor Snyder wants to increase your sales tax from 6% to 7%. Supporters of the Snyder tax call this a 1% increase but in fact it is a 16.7% increase. Additionally, one-third of the money generated by this tax increase doesn’t even go to roads. Among other things, it goes towards an increase in welfare payments.)
 
Write a letter to the editor and we’ll post it on our website.
Did you know that Letters to the Editor are the third most read section of the newspaper? Only the sports page and comics rank higher in popularity than Letters to the Editor. Every activist needs to get into the habit of writing letters to the editor of their local paper, as this is the best way to deliver your message to citizens who are not directly involved in the conservative movement. Please contact us if you need help in developing your letter writing skills or letter writing strategy.)
Russ Spencer of Tyrone Township wrote a letter opposing the sales tax increase. His letter was published in the Sunday edition of the Livingston Daily and we posted a link to his letter on our website. By writing his letter, Mr. Spencer informs thousands of readers about the details of the Snyder Tax.
Everyone who is acquainted with the auto industry and most of the private sector knows that hard times lead to reduced revenues. When that happens, all department managers are required to use their creativity and courage to find ways to reduce spending to correct for that.
In my career, I have been required to make several 5 percent to 10 percent painful departmental cuts for up to three years in a row. I once complained and was assured "you are not being required to work harder, only smarter."
The state of Michigan has a $52 billion budget and needs $1.2 billion to fix roads. If all departments were required to trim by a paltry one-time 2 percent, the problem would be solved. Instead we are faced with a typical public sector solution; increase the sales tax by 17 percent!
Now the state budgeting bureaucrats have underestimated the amount of corporate tax credits and caused a $440 million shortfall. We are told this will be met by cutting services. That's like a car company faced with such difficulties deciding to sell fewer cars.
Now is the time for our state bureaucrats to exercise some creativity and courage and do the kind of belt-tightening that people who live in the real world have to.
Russell Spencer
Tyrone Township
 
A letter published in the Livingston Daily
Our movement needs more people like Mr. Spencer! Letters to the Editor reach more people than just those on your email list. Letters to the Editor reach the general population who are likely not as well informed as you, the conservative activist.
Please take the time to write your own letter opposing the Snyder Tax. You’ll help influence public opinion and hold Lansing accountable. Here are some talking points to consider including in your letter.
Thanks for all you do!
ReTakeOurGov
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Here's a another letter:

NO MORE GENERAL FUNDING TAX INCREASES... Our Roads, like our Schools, need REAL REFORMS not just more money thrown at them and Patrick Colbeck and a few other Legislators are the only ones demanding we look at how and for what we spend our money on to Fix Michigan Roads. Many in Lansing, Government's in general, only solution to anything is a TAX INCREASE! It's time for Government to actually review and FIX AN ACTUAL PROBLEM rather than just throw money at it. The Governor, and far too many Legislators, want to put money into the General Transportation Fund; which would mean more money on Bike Paths, Road Landscaping, and yet more diverted to subsidize Mass-transit also; whereas those I support want more money to go to ONLY FIXING BROKEN ROADS (and not even toward more new Roads), for which the Price-tag is actually far less. Also, the 16.7% increase (from 6 cents to 7 cents, putting MI equal with others at the second highest and slowing/harming Michigan's ComebackState initiatives) does NOT just go to roads; it's a (belated) Christmas tree filled with ornaments to help get more folks to help pass it - even adding 50 Million to the General Fund that Legislators can dream up new things to waste it on!  I would vote YES to a half/cent increase if that money was strictly allocated to fixing roads and nothing else, but for May 5 I am a NO VOTE! FIX IT, DON'T DEMAGOGUE IT! 
 
Joseph Martin Lenard (@JLenardDetroit)
Wyandotte, MI 48192-4115

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When/Where we have to entirely replace Bridges, how about we focus on putting in a "functional" Bridge to deal with Traffic rather than things that seem to focus more on being a Modern Art display!?!?
You may, in your letter, want to touch on the fact how we just recently raised the Minimum Wage in Michigan adding costs to businesses and potentially causing inflation as businesses; strapped for cash; have to pass that along in increased pricing. Adding/increasing the Sales Tax, also and on top of that, hurts Michigan's ability to attract people/businesses and keeping Michigan's ComebackState status!

UPDATE: FEB 2:

@MichCapCon reports: State Revenue Increasing by $640 Million

DEMAND the Michigan Legislature and Governor use THAT $$$ for the Roads repair funding!!!


SHARE A COPY OF YOUR LETTER TO EDITOR HERE ON RWU IN THE COMMENTS SECTION TO HELP INSPIRE OTHERS!!!

Be sure to see the comments section as others provide additional details/facts....


Governor Snyder has come up with a new hastag: #Blueprint4America, variation/escalation of/from #ComebackState, because he is considering a POTUS run. Sorry Rick, but RAISING TAXES is NOT a Blueprint for Michigan or America. The #Blueprint4America is Scott Walker in Wisconsin who has won 3 elections in 4 years time in a solid Blue (Michigan is still somewhat Purple-ish) State, and has directly taken on the Left at every turn while you cozy up to Democrats!



Senator PJColbeck on why he is Voted NO for the Sales Tax increase initiative


Paul Mitchell @SayNoOnProp1 on "OFF the Record"

Views: 1037

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Readers still not sold on sales tax increase for roads



Detroit Free Press readers 12:12 a.m. EST March 7, 2015


The Detroit Free Press Editorial Board broke down the complicated formula behind Proposal 1, which would raise the sales tax under a plan to increase funding for Michigan's crumbling roads. Readers have been opposed to the proposal almost since the beginning; the Free Press' explanation of how it would work didn't change their minds:

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I would vote yes for fixing Michigan's dangerous roads if you could guarantee two conditions.

One, there is accountability of materials used by suppliers and accountability of suppliers. I do not mean the oversight that recently happened where the state overlooked warranties previously done costing the state millions in poor workmanship. Also, something is done with the railcars sitting unused costing $1.1 million a year.

Two, the state of Michigan is allowed to vote on a part-time Legislature, because it did nothing on the most important issue in the state, our roads.

Jim Fox

Shelby Township

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I'm all for taxing and spending for the common good. I have voted for every millage increase, wherever I lived, to support schools, libraries and other public institutions. However, I will vote no on Proposal 1. The change in the sales tax from 6% to 7%, nearly a 17% increase, is regressive. It hurts lower-income earners more than the wealthy.

If Proposal 1 fails, the Free Press Editorial Board warned, the tea party will come up with a worse proposal, such as cutting back on services, to fix the roads. Having bad roads for a few more years until we get a commonsense Legislature would not be such a sacrifice, compared to the sacrifice that would be made by our lower-income citizens for decades to come. The burden of paying for better roads should not be placed on the backs of these citizens, some of whom do not own cars.

The solution for fixing the roads and funding our communities and schools is a progressive income tax. Reversing the $1.2-billion tax giveaway to the corporations would be a start.

Laura Dewey

Grosse Pointe Woods

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After reading the Free Press' long-winded and confusing explanation of Proposal 1, I'm ready to not only say no, but heck no!

Our governor needs to wrangle all them rascal legislators into a cheap hotel and keep 'em there until an alternative is agreed on! This pro-business governor can't even count on the support of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and he knows darn well that's the nail in the coffin for raising the state sales tax.

Kenneth Hreha

Dryden

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Thanks for your Q&A on understanding the proposed sales tax hike. Now I now for sure that I will vote no. This is the most convoluted proposal that I have ever seen. Go back to the drawing board, Legislature, and do your job! Give us a clean proposal for roads.

Valerie Panosian

Royal Oak

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Friend --

Breaking News:  Representative’s Courser and Gamrat Re-Introduce the Bolger Plan to fund road repair without raising taxes.  

We are nine weeks away from a vote that could take billions of dollars out of the pocketbooks every Michigander. Family after family will have to work harder and longer to pay for the sham that is the May 5th vote on Proposal 1. We all agree that our roads need to be fixed, but they need to be a priority and legislators in Lansing are leveraging the terrible condition of our roads to raid our bank accounts to pad the state coffers and hang more ornaments on the special interest Christmas tree. Politician after politician dither about, refusing the necessary work and hard choices to prioritize spending to fix our crumbling roads. With a $52 billion budget that continues to grow and grow and a constitutional requirement to provide for infrastructure we must make roads a priority. I will not sit idly by and watch as the Lansing political machine uses roads to hold the taxpayers hostage and that is why I have enrolled the Bolger Roads plan of last legislative session. We should value hard-earned taxpayer money by spending it wisely and efficiently; we can fix our roads without raising taxes and the plan that Representative Gamrat and I have re-introduced will make the big step towards prioritizing current spending for infrastructure without raising taxes.  


The Governor and the Lansing establishment won’t like it being reintroduced, but today the buck stops here. We do not need to hold you hostage for road money and you can safely vote no on May 5th because there is a plan that won’t raise your taxes, the Courser/Gamrat/Bolger Plan.   We don’t need a new tax; we need leaders who will prioritize the taxes they take so that the core functions of government are funded efficiently and effectively!

 

A Roads Plan without raising taxes – We really can do better than the Governor’s plan to increase the sales tax and give very little of it to the potholes that line our commutes. With all of the focus of our Governor and many “principalities” in high places on passing on this massive new tax increase; I thought it best to reintroduce what has been called, “The Bolger Plan,” which in its original form didn’t raise taxes and yet raised enough money to deal with the road issues we now face.  I have reintroduced this plan as HB 4317 and HB 4318; a great many have warned me to not do this given that it will undermine the Governor’s plan and again put me at odds with him and I simply let these folks know I don’t work for the Governor and he didn’t elect me. I work for the people of the state of Michigan and I was elected by the great people of my home county of Lapeer. My job is to be a fiscal hawk and to offer up solutions that will make the best use of the hard earned dollars that government takes from the mouths of our citizens. The reintroduction of the Bolger plan, albeit it is long name so here after we will call it the The Courser/Gamrat Roads Plan,  a plan to raise the money for roads by ensuring every tax dollar spent at the pump is dedicated to infrastructure, but it does not offer a re-prioritization of spending within state government. I believe it is our duty to spend your tax dollars in the most useful way possible, which is why we are to offering up our own cuts to government and and promoting some of our colleague’s suggestions. We have been told time and time again by politicians in Lansing that there just isn’t the money or the savings, but don't believe the rhetoric: there is plenty of money out there to spend on the roads. We just have to have leaders who will make the structural changes and quit wasting the funds we already have. Here is a short list, which if done then there will be plenty of road money in addition to HB 4317 and HB 4318.

1.       Ensure that every tax dollar that is collected at the gas pump actually goes towards infrastructure maintenance and repair.  This ensures every tax dollar spent on gasoline is dedicated towards roads. We also need to reform the way we build roads, and reform MDOT administration to get more miles out of our infrastructure.

2.       End the funding to the MEDC (HB 4194)– savings $300 million annually – This is the main vehicle for corporate pork and welfare in our state and to me it is awful to think our citizens can’t have the roads, schools and emergency services they need because we are giving away the people’s treasury to corporations.

3.       End Prevailing Wage Gap in Michigan (SB 1) - this alone will save our state 300 million that can be spent on the roads. I applaud Speaker Cotter and Senate Majority Leader Meekhoff for making this a priority of the GOP Action Plan, but the governor has refused to make this change and so our state pays exorbitant costs on all sorts of construction projects at well above the market rates, this is highway robbery of the treasury of the people by organized labor and it really needs to end.

4.       End statutory revenue sharing- savings of over 400 million.  This money should be prioritized to fixing county, township and city roads instead of blank check.  Simply reforming revenue sharing to stop certain counties from benefiting at the expense of the rest of the counties would move hundreds of millions to local roads.

5.       End the subsidies for Amtrak-saving of of 40 million. These trains should be paid for through the user fees of the people actually riding them and not balancing their books through government subsidies.  Taxpayers who never use these trains and are located hours away from the nearest stop are paying for those who utilize the trains regularly, just those riders can have cheaper tickets to the tune of 40 million dollars every year.

6.       End Defined Benefit Retirement for new incoming public school teachers. – this will cost a bit up front to get it right, but the savings if we pass this will be huge down the road! Right now we have billions and billions in unfunded liabilities that leaves our state exposed to financial difficulties for decades of we don’t tackle the problem.   We need to stop making more liabilities and give the new employees the chance to have a 401k or something similar and not put the citizens on the hook for liabilities for a pension and then continue to never set aside the money to pay for the liability.

7.       Amend the state constitution to reallocate money from the DNR Trust Fund.  Currently, our state uses the revenue it obtains from leasing mineral and gas rights to purchase land at a precipitous rate.  The state continues to purchase more and more land every year, which then it must be maintained and patrolled at the taxpayer dime.  The trust fund’s spending requirements should be amended to stop future land purchases and ensure that future mineral revenues go to at least partially toward infrastructure maintenance and repair.

8.    Reform Medicaid services that, according to the Mackinac Center, could save billions of dollars.

9.    End the film subsides (HB 4122) that could see savings of around 50 million annually.  While it is an adventure for voters of my district see actors like Ben Affleck around town while filming the movie “Batman vs. Superman” the return on our investment is not worth it; not to mention the subsidizing of multi-billion dollar hollywood corporations that increase their profits off the backs of the taxpayers.

10.  End the MBT/MEGA tax credits that are blowing a hole in our state budget to the tune 500 million dollars this year and an estimated 9 plus billion dollars. This is one of the most egregious examples of corporate welfare and special carve outs to benefit the pockets of corporate special interests.   


It is time we have leaders in Lansing make the hard choices and do their jobs and prioritize spending in the budget to pay for roads and bridges. As you can see from the Courser/Gamrat plan we can come up with billions of dollars in the budget to pay for our roads, it just takes leadership with grit and fortitude to do the hard tasks that get us the best outcomes for the taxpayers.   Please call your representatives and hold me in your thoughts and prayers as Representative Gamrat and I stand against the machine to protect your hard-earned tax dollars, keep government out of your wallet, and fight for the liberties and freedoms you deserve from reckless perpetual spending, government overreach, and fiscal and moral tyranny.


In Christ Alone,

todd

May 5th Michigan Ballot Proposal -  
A loaded, Special-Interest laden attempt to fix Michigan roads
 
First off, let us say that no one is arguing that Michigan roads are in horrible shape, and a permanent Fix is needed.
 
The ballot proposal on May 5th however, is CLEARLY not the answer needed to fix Michigan's roads.
 
Here are some frightening statistics that YOU need to know:
 
PROPOSAL 1 WILL RAISE TAXES $2 BILLION, EVERY YEAR, FOREVER
  • Increase sales tax by 16% - from 6% to 7%
  • Increase gasoline taxes by $450 million (initially @41.7 cents per gallon plus federal tax)
  • Increase annual Driver registration fees by $95 million
  • Result in Michigan residents to pay an increase of $100 million in federal income taxes
  • Average family will pay from $680 - $800 additional in taxes per year
In the first year - only 25% of the "Road Fixing Proposal" actually goes to fixing roads.  75% goes to special interests
 
Unlike what the special-interest tied backers of proposal 1 are saying, there IS a Plan B,C,D,E & F in the Michigan legislature to repair our roads without hurting working families and those most unable to pay for an additional tax increases.  
 
Your Michigan legislators need to understand that they cannot Outsource their tough decisions onto the backs of the taxpayers - they need to take leadership on the roads issue and handle it in Lansing!!
 
For more information, simply follow the link below to the Coalition against Higher Taxes and Special Interest Deals:  

Union Conservatives is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.  Under IRS regulations, your donations are NOT tax deductible.  See a tax professional for further information.

DETROIT NEWS - EDITORIAL

START OVER ON ROADS

1/31/2015

With the ballot drive to raise the sales tax to fix Michigan's roads already in disarray, Gov. Rick Snyder should appeal to leaders of the new Legislature to make a fresh effort to get highway funding right

Asking voters to hike the sales tax to 7 cents on the dollar from 6 cents was a poor plan in the first place, and was only signed by the governor because a cowardly Legislature failed to do its job during the lame duck session.

Now, with the May 5 election just over three months away, the ballot initiative is in early trouble. Some polls indicate voter support is under 50 percent; the conventional wisdom in Michigan is that ballot proposals must start with 60 percent support or higher to have a chance at passage.

Of course, the pro-tax hike campaign spending hasn't started yet. Road builders and others are expected to spend between $10 million and $15 million, and it's not clear where opposition spending will come from. That amount of money could move public opinion.

Still, taxpayer sentiment appears to be strongly against the measure, and even some key Snyder allies such as the Michigan Chamber of Commerce haven't yet decided whether to get on board.

Unintended consequences of the measure are starting to surface. For example, an analysis by economist Patrick Anderson raised the possibility that 1.2 million taxpayers who claim the vehicle registration fee on their federal forms may lose the deduction because part of that revenue will be switched to the sales tax, which isn't deductible.

And the campaign team the governor assembled to push the proposal resigned this week, citing unspecified philosophical differences.

With all that in mind, the most responsible course would be to go back to the Legislature and ask for an alternative transportation funding bill that makes sense.

Michigan has always funded its road work with user fees — fuel taxes and vehicle registration. That remains the best financing option. For one thing, fuel tax revenue by state Constitution must go to the roads.

The sales tax, however, can be used for anything. The ballot proposal includes money not just for roads, but also to restore the earned income tax credit for low income workers and $300 million for education.

Those should be separate funding matters debated on their own merits. Michigan taxpayers deserve a clean road funding bill.

There's no precedent for recalling a Constitutional amendment once it's been sent on its way to the ballot.

But the Legislature and governor could craft an alternative bill that would go into effect if the ballot measure fails.

That Plan B bill should raise either the fuel tax or the registration fee, or both. It could also include a commitment to squeeze more money out of existing state spending to add to road funding. Voters should have a choice between a sales tax hike and a more efficient bill that raises fuel taxes. But there is no choice but to fix the roads.

Continuing on the current path risks an embarrassing defeat in May that might doom future efforts to raise road revenues.

Proposal 1: The right road fix or a total mess?


By Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press 12:31 p.m. EDT March 15, 2015

Critics say Proposal 1 collects too much money for items other than roads. Proponents say the plan was a product of compromise that gets the job done.

LANSING – Even those who oppose Proposal 1 agree that Michigan's roads are a mess.

And those who support the May 5 ballot proposal concede that the complex plan is far from perfect.

But that's where the agreement between the two camps pretty much ends.

The proposal to amend the state constitution would increase the sales tax to 7% from 6%, take the sales tax off of fuel sales and increase fuel taxes, raising pump prices 8 to 9 cents per gallon, based on current low prices.

The main criticism of the road funding plan — hatched as a last-minute, lame-duck session compromise in December between Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders from both parties — is that a House Fiscal Agency analysis shows it hikes taxes by about $1.9 billion in order to direct about $1.3 billion toward Michigan's crumbling roads and bridges.

Depending on one's outlook, the fact that the plan also benefits K-12 schools ($200 million-$290 million); transit and rail ($116 million); local governments ($111 million), and low and moderate-income families ($260 million through restoration of the Earned Income Tax Credit), is either a selling point or a near-fatal drawback. The ballot question, if passed, would trigger into law 10 bills dealing with a wide range of subjects, from road warranties to expense reimbursements by school districts.

"There's nothing like a governmentally proposed spaghetti deal," said Robert Terry, a Grosse Pointe Woods resident who heads a small video-production company and says voters should have been asked to hike the sales tax less than 1 percentage point in a plan targeted solely at roads.

"I thought the amendment to Michigan's constitution was to finally do something about our roads," he said. "But, no, Lansing just needed to stick schools in the mix."

The constitutional amendment would enshrine the legality of using the School Aid Fund to support community colleges as well as K-12 schools, but make the fund off-limits for support to universities.

Proponents say approving an imperfect plan is far better than doing nothing, because the more that Michigan's roads are allowed to deteriorate, the more they will cost to fix. No road plan could be approved last year without support from Democrats, who used a rare opportunity for leverage to secure improved funding for K-12 schools and restoration of a tax credit they say will help mitigate the effects of higher sales and fuel taxes for working families.

"We all know that to get Democrats on board, they had to sweeten the deal," said Greg Hoover of Fowlerville, who owns a small painting business and says he will be voting yes.

The roads "need money, and they need it now, and this is all we have," Hoover said. "If we don't pass it, then we go back to the drawing board."

Proponents say one of the plan's most attractive features is that it takes the sales tax off of fuel sales, undoing a situation the Free Press has reported on in which Michigan charges some of the highest taxes on fuel in the nation, but still has among the lowest per-lane-mile spending on roads. Taking the sales tax off fuel allows a sharp hike in the fuel tax — which is spent on roads — without significantly increasing the pump price. And bumping up the sales tax more than replaces the money schools and local governments would lose as a result of a sales tax no longer being charged on fuel.

Snyder is the main cheerleader for the Safe Roads Yes campaign to pass the measure — which is airing TV ads bankrolled by millions of dollars in contributions from road builders and other businesses — that mainly focuses on deteriorating roads and bridges as a safety issue.

Four groups have formed to push the no side, with the Coalition Against Higher Taxes and Special Interest Deals, headed by Saginaw County businessman and former congressional candidate Paul Mitchell, the first to air TV ads.

Critics such as Mitchell say the supposed urgency of needed road fixes is undermined by another flaw in Proposal 1: For the first two years after passage of the plan, a large chunk of the new transportation money — an estimated $865 million in 2015-16 and $468 million in 2016-17 — would be spent, not on road projects, but on paying off debt the Michigan Department of Transportation has built up from issuing bonds for earlier road projects.

A look at state spending on truck linesBuy Photo

A look at state spending on truck lines (Photo: Martha Theirry, Detroit Free Press)


Though MDOT didn't push for the debt reduction, department spokesman Jeff Cranson said retiring debt will reduce interest payments, freeing up $160 million-$200 million more per year to spend on roads.

Snyder says another criticism directed at the plan — that Michigan lawmakers failed to do their jobs and "punted" the road funding question to voters — is misplaced.

Though he would have preferred the Legislature to pass its own plan — such as the major fuel tax hike that the Senate passed and the House rejected, so that some road funding plan would go into effect if Proposal 1 fails — Snyder notes that a hike in the sales tax is needed to replace lost sales tax that would hurt schools and local governments, and hiking the sales tax can be done by only Michigan voters.

Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or pegan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4.

A look at Proposal 1 at the pumpBuy Photo

A look at Proposal 1 at the pump (Photo: Martha Thierry, Detroit Free Press)


A look at Proposal 1 at the pumpBuy Photo

A look at Proposal 1 at the pump (Photo: Martha Thierry, Detroit Free Press)


What you'll see on the ballot May 5

A proposal to amend the state constitution to increase the sales/use tax from 6% to 7% to replace and supplement reduced revenue to the School Aid Fund and local units of government caused by the elimination of the sales/use tax on gasoline and diesel fuel for vehicles operating on public roads, and to give effect to laws that provide additional money for roads and other transportation purposes by increasing the gas tax and vehicle registration fees.

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

Eliminate sales/use taxes on gasoline/diesel fuel for vehicles on public roads.

Increase portion of use tax dedicated to School Aid Fund (SAF).

Expand use of SAF to community colleges and career/technical education and prohibit use for four-year colleges/universities.

Give effect to laws, including those that: increase sales/use tax to 7%, as authorized by constitutional amendment; increase gasoline/diesel fuel tax and adjust annually for inflation; increase vehicle registration fees and dedicate revenue for roads and other transportation purposes; expand competitive bidding and warranties for road projects; increase Earned Income Tax Credit.

Should this proposal be adopted? Yes or No.

Read or Share this story: http://on.freep.com/1MBFygi


March 27, 2015       Contact: John Yob
For Immediate Release                                                 johnpatrickyob@gmail.com

Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose Proposal 1

TV Ad Spending Having Negative Impact 

Grand Rapids, MI – Today Strategic National released results of a statewide Michigan poll taken March 23rd and 24th to test the level of support for Proposal 1 and the relative impact of television advertising.
“Voters overwhelmingly oppose the sales tax increase for roads and the numbers are getting worse,” said John Patrick Yob of Strategic National.  “The advertising that is being run in favor of Proposal 1 seems to be having a negative impact and actually making the tax increase less likely to pass.  Simply put, the scare tactic strategy is not working.” 
“Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly oppose the proposal and the critical voting block of self-identified Independents are even less likely to support it,” said Yob.  “Every voting group in every region of the state opposes it.  The odds of this tax increase passing have gone from bad to worse and the momentum is unlikely to change given that the advertising is moving the numbers in the wrong direction.”  
The results of the survey showed Proposal 1 losing 61% to 28%.  The critical voting block of Independent voters are the most opposed to the proposal with 70% opposing and 22% supporting.  Democrats oppose the measure by a margin of 61% to 26% and Republicans oppose it 54% to 35%.  
Strategic National previously polled Proposal 1 in January and found that 52% of voters opposed the measure while 34% supported it at that time.  Opposition to the measure has gained nearly ten points in the last two months as the group in favor of the proposal has spent millions of dollars on television advertising. 
Strategic National also measured the effectiveness of recent advertisements in favor of Proposal 1.  61% of the respondents saw these ads.  Of the respondents who saw the ads, 14% were more likely to support the proposal after seeing the ads, while 28% were less likely to support after seeing the ads, and 58% reported that the ads were having no impact.
“Proposal 1 has been losing support since January among likely voters in the May election,” said Yob.  “It seems that the more money that is spent on television ads trying to scare voters the less likely the measure is to pass.”
This week’s survey was conducted March 23-24, 2015, and has a random sample of 382 Likely Voters.  The Margin of Error is +/- 5.00%, at a 95% Confidence Interval. 
The survey conducted January 27-28, 2015 had a random sample of 650 Likely Voters.  The Margin of Error is +/- 3.80% at a 95% Confidence Interval.



Strategic National
190 Monroe Ave NW Suite 500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

From Rep Tom McMillin

My op-ed on MLive explains what's wrong with Proposal 1 in 350 words:
  

Proposal 1 would have voters condone and participate in the worst aspects of lawmaking they loathe in their politicians. It is a massive package of unrelated bills, cobbled together to get special interests on board. It is 46,000 words of details, few of which are noted on the ballot language, leaving voters to "pass it to find out what's in it." It was a hastily thrown-together package said to be needed to address an emergency, when the emergency was created in the first place by the politicians now pushing it.

Not to mention the substance of the proposal, which is so far outside the mainstream--massive tax increases for a glut of new spending--that we can only gape in awe at its audacity.

There are at least three ways to prove that Proposal 1's massive tax increases, about $200 per year for every man, woman, and child in Michigan, are unnecessary.

First, simply observe that Michigan's budget rose about $4.7 billion from fiscal year 2012 to FY 2015. The tax increases "only" raise about $2 billion annually. New taxes would only offset new spending, and obviously, this new spending hasn't gone to roads.

Second, consider that the state House passed a plan last year to fully fix and fund roads without any tax increases, by simply prioritizing new spending. This proposal was blocked by the governor last December, but will certainly get a new hearing if voters reject tax increases on May 5.

Finally, stop and notice that this situation is entirely ridiculous. Roads are an ordinary budget item in forty-nine states. They should be a mundane part of mundane budget discussions, not some political hostage brought before voters to demand higher taxes than ever before.

The governor essentially says, "pass these tax increases, or you may die on our roads," while he is the principal roadblock to legislation to fix our roads without tax increases.

If voters reject the proposal, the legislature will have a mandate to fix roads without massive tax increases. If they approve the proposal, expect more stunts like this in the future.

 
You can read it on-line and share it at this link.  

If you can, please support our effort with a contribution.  

There are five weeks remaining before the May 5 election.


Thanks for all you do for prosperity in Michigan,

Rep. Tom McMillin

Published in the NewsHerald: http://www.thenewsherald.com/articles/2015/04/09/opinion/doc5522aea... 

To the Editor: Another special election!

We had a special election for the Wyandotte school district to raise taxes in February. One question on the ballot. They couldn’t wait until the state’s special election in May to add their question to that ballot and save money. There were two special elections in 2014 as well.

Each election in Wyandotte costs $14,000. How much does it cost statewide for this election in May? Just so that we can pay more in taxes!

It is apparent that our elected representatives are not acting in our best interests.

Some years ago we were fooled into voting to increase our sales tax from 4 (percent) to 6 percent with the promise of lower property taxes. That didn’t last long.

Don’t be fooled again. Vote ‘no’ for a sales tax increase. The government needs to learn to live within its means, just like the rest of us.

Deborah Bloomfield

Wyandotte

What kind of cynical political campaign would turn citizen against citizen, to get votes from the working poor by promising them the confiscated wealth of their neighbors?

The same kind that would threaten voters that children would die on Michigan roads unless they approve massive tax hikes, apparently.

Concerned Taxpayers of Michigan has been warning for months that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansion would be used as a vehicle to get low-income wage-earners (working poor) and liberal Democrats to pass the Proposal.

And sure enough, this week's media coverage of Proposal 1 revolves around the EITC expansion as the "Vote Yes or Else" campaign targets voters that support it.

"Working poor may see modest tax break under Michigan roads Proposal 1," an MLive headline teases readers in a story posted yesterday. 

Perhaps the working poor would be offended to know just how little the Lansing lobbyists expect they can be bought for.

An April 11 AP story reported in the Detroit News revealed just how little a tax break the Earned Income Tax Credit recipients would eventually receive under Proposal 1:
 

Those in the bottom fifth earning less than $20,000 would see a $24 annual tax cut on average. The top bracket of earners with incomes primarily ranging from $100,000 to $431,000 would pay on average $497 to $697 more a year, the study found.


$24 a year tax cut.  Starting in 2017.  That's the enlistment bonus for the class war.

But the 1.5 million voters expected on May 5 won't know this fact.  They'll know only that the EITC would be expanded. 

The ballot language doesn't say how big the EITC expansion is (more than a tripling).

Nor does it say how little it is, compared to the tax hikes it would offset.

(By the way, sorry, retirees on fixed income: only those who work qualify for this tax break. You will pay more like everyone else.)

To its credit, the MLive story quoted the 13th Congressional District Republican Committee's resolution opposing Proposal 1, which addressed this very issue:
 

Michigan's 13 [sic] Congressional District Republican Committee, in a resolution formally opposing Proposal 1 and its various provisions, blasted the proposed EITC component as a form of "class warfare."

"It is immoral to pit selected groups of taxpayers against the general public by saying one group's taxes will be reduced if they help raise taxes on everybody else," said the resolution.


But the 1.5 million voters expected on May 5 aren't going to know more than what they have been told by the richly-funded Vote Yes or Else campaign, and what is on the ballot.

At a public meeting yesterday evening, a volunteer informed us that, calling voters in his neighborhood, one told him "I wish you'd called me sooner.  I already voted yes, as an absentee."

The night before, a voter called to say "What can I do?  Everyone I've spoken with said they were going to vote 'yes' because that's the only side they've heard."

Folks, we are down to the wire.

We will lose if we cannot fight.
 
We will be outspent at least ten to one.  Maybe more.  

(It's a lot easier to raise money when taxpayer-funded companies stand to gain millions in new business, than when your only supporters are private citizens.)

The other side has the ability to survey every voter in Michigan and drive every "yes" vote to the polls on May 5.

Public opinion surveys are irrelevant.  It's about turnout, and we need to do everything we possibly can in these last three weeks to get out the vote.

This Wednesday, April 15, is Tax Day, and we are calling upon every concerned taxpayer to make it a day of action.

There will be a rally at the Capitol in Lansing from noon to 3pm on Wednesday.  From 12 to 2pm, citizens will be visiting their representatives to ask for their opposition to Proposal 1 and to call upon them to fix roads without any tax increases in the event the proposal is defeated on May 5.  From 2 to 3pm, there will be a rally on the Capitol lawn.

At 5pm, there will be a rally in front of City Hall in Troy.  (Big Beaver Rd, just east of the I-75 intersection.)

There may be other events around the state.  

Whether there is one in your local area or not, I encourage you all to get together and use the voter lists and scripts available on our website (here) to call voters and win your precincts, on April 15 or any other day.

And most of all, please contribute on or before April 15 to give us the resources we...

According to the Tax Foundation, the average Michigan resident must work from New Year's Day through April 17th every year, just to pay all the federal, state, and local taxes levied on them.  

January 1 through April 17.  Nearly a third of your productive life. 

And even that is only part of the picture.  There are also the unseen effects of taxation: that when we all have less money to spend, we have less wealth to create through exchange.  We have less disposable income.

And guess what?  Even that is not enough for the political class.

Proposal 1 would take an additional $200 from every man, woman, and child in Michigan, every year.

That's $800 per year for a family of four. 

2 billion dollars a year, for more government spending.  Supposedly, mostly for road maintenance, although that only testifies that too much money was spent elsewhere in the first place.

And if Proposal 1 is passed on May 5, you can bet it won't be long before more tax increases are demanded.

Because no amount is ever enough money for the government.  Ever.

Folks, we are being outspent by the Michigan lobbyist establishment, of that there is no question.

Yet on a shoestring budget, we've been able to effectively steer public discourse our way, and polls indicate public opinion is moving in our direction, too.  

But public opinion will not win the election.  It will take grassroots mobilization, in a big way.

This April 15th, when federal tax returns are due and most Americans feel the worst bite of taxation, we are calling for a day of action and of contribution to help us win this election.

Concerned Taxpayers of Michigan has been fighting at the forefront of the effort against Proposal 1 since the beginning of the year.  

We have worked in Lansing to get the best ballot language possible that exposes the myriad aspects of the proposal and got much better language than we might have otherwise.

We have called upon the legislature to be responsible and introduce legislation to remove roads from the "hostage negotiations" and ensure they are funded one way or the other, and seen bills introduced in the state House to do so.  

We have exposed the hypocrisy of the heavy-handed scare tactics employed by the lobbyists pushing for these tax increases.

We are now airing hard-hitting radio ads that call out the "Vote Yes or Else" campaign's extortion tactics and expose the emptiness of the threats:

[Image: Radio ads. Click to listen or enable images in your email to view the image.]

We have given volunteers the lists of highest-priority voters to reach out and defeat Proposal 1 at their own voting precincts.

And, we have prominently debated the "yes" side: in person and across the media.

But we need your support to prevail in the last weeks of this effort.  

We're doing all we can, right now, but we cannot win the understanding and vote of hundreds of thousands of voters without necessary resources.

And for those of you who have made the effort to prevail locally, thank you for all you do. We encourage you to make April 15 a Day of Action.  

Get together and contact voters.  Knock on doors, or make phone calls.

There are three weeks remaining before the May 5 election.

We'll do all that we can, and we appreciate all your support in this effort.

Together, we can succeed on May 5th and then perhaps finally work to bring Michigan back on the path to prosperity without raising taxes.

Perhaps, if we dare to dream, even reducing them one day.

Thanks for all you do for prosperity in Michigan,

The Concerned Taxpayers of Michigan Team

P.S.  This April 15th, it's time for the taxpayers to strike back.  

Please pledge your support and effort on April 15.

[Image: banner graphic for Tax Day Money Bomb. Enable images in this email to view it.]
 

Paid for by Concerned Taxpayers of Michigan, PO Box 211, Milan MI 48160

From: Stephen Young
Allegan County TEA Party Chairman

On May 5, Michigan voters have been asked by lazy and incompetent legislators, to vote on what will be the largest tax increase in nearly 50 years, if passed.

This "Transportation" tax will raise $2 billion and once fully implemented in 2018 nearly 40 percent ($700 million plus) won't go to fix a single pothole/road.
Higher taxes/vehicle registration fees, and special interest deals are all part of Proposal 15-1.

This tax is not about road safety, which is contrary to the TV and radio advertisements as well as our governor, who lied about Proposal 15-1 as being the only plan to fix the roads.

Where does the Allegan County Republican Party stand on the proposal to raise Michigan's sales tax?

About 66 percent of those polled said they will vote "no" on the roads proposal, while only 24 percent said they planned to vote "yes."

When We the People polled learned more about the proposal - including the implications of the 10 laws it would trigger - opposition increased to 70 percent with only 21 percent supporting the ballot proposal.

Why has the GOP of Allegan County not taken a strong stand against Snyder and the tax-raising Republicans in Lansing in accordance with the wishes of We the People?

The Republican governor of Illinois proposed balancing a $32 billion budget with a 2.25-percent spending cut.

Michigan has a budget more than $21 billion higher with nearly three million fewer people.

The Allegan County GOP should be outraged at the proposed tax increase.
Are they?
 

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