Proposed sales tax hike defeated to help fund road repairs - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Proposed sales tax hike defeated to help fund road repairs

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - Efforts to raise more than one billion dollars to fix our crumbling roads is underway at the state capitol. The governor and legislative leaders hoped for a deal that might include a sales tax increase on the ballot in November, but the proposal was defeated.

"I would say there's constructive dialogue still going on. The issue is we're running out of time if you look at the legislators schedule. So, it's going to be an active day," Gov. Rick Snyder said.

FOX 2's political insider Tim Skubick reports the day was very active as the illusive deal on the roads in Michigan, believe it or not, was complicated by the vote in Virginia yesterday.

The Tea Party took out the second ranking Republican in the Congress, Eric Cantor.

Republican Sen. Jack Brandenburg believes some of his colleagues who were on the fence about voting for new road revenue taxes will now have second thoughts given what happened in that other state.

"Anyone with a brain in his head should understand that anyone can be beaten at anytime," Brandenburg says.

The Senate was looking a plan to raise $1.5 billion by upping the wholesale gas tax by as much as 25 cents a gallon over four years, and then giving voters a choice.

The governor says if the gas tax is hammered out first, then he would consider placing a one percent sales tax on the November ballot and let the voters pick one or the other.

"I don't think we should just throw the issue to the voters without having some solution and then potentially giving them an option," Gov. Snyder says.

As Wednesday unfolded, there were fears in the Senate that if they voted to raise taxes for roads, what if the House killed the plan?

Republican Rep. Jeff Farrington says the House has already approved a $500 million road plan and that's enough for now. But is he doing that because he's afraid if he voted for more taxes he might lose his job?

"Not at all. I've taken a lot of hard issues on over the last three and a half years. This is just one more. It's all about solutions and I think $500 million is a pretty darn good solution for the state of Michigan," he says.

In the end, the Senate decided not to put the sales tax increase proposal on the ballot, but the fight is not over. Supporters of the proposal say they will try again Thursday.

Lawmakers still have not voted on the proposal to raise $1.5 billion for the roads.
 
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