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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Such A Deal

        If some kind soul offered you a chance to save six cents on every dollar you spend on gas, you'd jump at it.
           But would you be so eager if that meant your sales tax would go from six to seven cents on the dollar?
           Here's a heads-up.  Nobody has endorsed this yet, but this tax switch could turn out to be a major recommendation to raise bucks for our lousy road system.
           Here's how it would work.  If you pay $60 to fill up your gas-guzzler, you get an automatic $3.60 savings every time you do.  Removing the sales tax from gasoline is the easy part.
          To make up for the=2 0lost revenue, there would be a statewide vote to hike the sales tax by a penny.  That would produce about a billion bucks with part of that going to schools and cities because they now get money from the sales tax on fuel.
          One of the guys talking about this is Senator Jud Gilbert (R-Algonac).  He's told special interests that want to feed the road-building beast, that getting voter approval will not be easy.
          But to make it easier, the vote would come during a special election when fewer voters show up thus boosting the chances for passage. Put it on the general election ballot with more voters and the chances go down.
          Generally most folks don't even notice the sales tax and promoters of this idea figure a penny increase will not spawn a tax revolt.  However on big-ticket items such as cars and boats, on a $30,000 purchase, your sales tax would go up three hundred smackers.  But hey nobody is buying cars and boats anymore, so who cares?
          Lawmakers would have to vote to place it on the ballot, but rest assured that if that happens, it won't come until after everyone is safely reelected in November.


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