Don’t let Proposal 1 poison worthy local millage requests

ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” story, It is an editorial by the editor.


A special election Tuesdayprop1_road-and-bus2-final, May 5, was hailed at first as a chance for local governments to pass sorely needed millage requests.

Now it looks like the state-wide proposal to raise the Michigan sales tax from six to seven cents on the dollar for improving roads is an albatross, a burden local governments must overcome at the polls.

For those who were in a coma or on Mars for the past several months, the Michigan Legislature, despite being dominated by the same party for the last 25 years, failed to come to an agreement on fixing this state’s roads, widely regarded as the very worst in the nation. Rather than muster the intestinal fortitude to raise taxes to fix the roads, the confederacy of dunces in Lansing passed the buck to the voters.

Even worse, legislators came up with a proposal not just for roads, but with lots of other goodies for education and others. So school officials have been lobbying on behalf of the proposal and the “Michigan Roads Yes” campaign even trotted out retired U.S. Senator Carl Levin to try to sell the idea on TV.

Apparently it’s not working out very well. The polls say close to 60% of voters next Tuesday have indicated they will reject it, pretty much for three reasons:

  • “Read our lips, no new taxes.”
  • The proposal is convoluted, difficult to understand and it appears to financially assist other things besides the crumbling and pothole-filled roads.
  • The State Legislature dropped the ball on doing its job and passed the buck to voters. Yet we voters, time and time again elect these bozos so we must share the blame.

I’ve already cast an extremely reluctant “yes” by absentee ballot, believing something has to be done for these awful roads, but I really do understand peoples’ anger and why it will be defeated.

My greatest fear actually is that overwhelming negative feelings about Proposal 1 will trickle down on the ballot in Dorr and negatively impact legitimate the three-mill request for township roads and restoring the half mill the fire department lost inexplicably on the ballot in the summer and fall of 2012.

I can only hope Proposal 1 doesn’t put Martin Township voters in a foul mood about the 0.9-mill request for replacing fire department vehicles and equipment.

Let’s not forget that the Hopkins School District is using the special election as an opportunity for renewal of the 18-mill non-Homestead tax.

I hereby ask voters not to let their feelings about Proposal 1 to poison sorely-needed millage requests for infrastructure and services closer to home. I ask voters in Dorr, Martin and Hopkins to look seriously at the ballot and separate the wheat from the chaff.

1 Comment

  • As much as it pains me I must agree with the Editor of this newspaper. The State Road Tax has all the visibility in the mass media, indeed most folks are unaware that local issues are also on the ballot in our communities and very important to our every day lives. We will get a greater benefit from local spending than State or Federal spending, local government is vastly more efficient and indeed better run than State or Federal. I will vote to let the local folks fix local problems because it is the most efficient by far. The local schools and Townships will spend our money better than big intrusive government. Every penny of local road millage goes for roads and nothing but roads.

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