There is a lot not to like about Proposal 1, which is why polling suggests it could go down in flames. When Republicans recklessly cut business taxes by 1.6 billion, it was just a matter of time before someone had to pick up the tab to pay for essential needs like roads. If Proposal 1 were to pass, the people who would feel most pain would be lower income folks, which is why this is called a regressive tax. That sting would be partially offset by bumping back up the earned income tax credit for about 800,000 Michigan families. While the initiative prevents money from the school aid fund being shifted to universities, it doesn’t stop it from being spent on community colleges. This shell game is lifting the school aid fund of over $250 million dollars this coming year. Nothing is stopping the legislature from fully funding community colleges from the school aid fund which could mean swiping another 135 million.
Despite all the negatives about proposal 1, I still support it. The proposal will increase road funding, school funding, and at least provide some softening of the blow for lower income working people. While I hate to subsidize the business industry, whose tax money should be covering these essential needs, I’m left with no other choice. If this ballot question fails, “plan B” will likely be more regressive and harmful to schools. After all, the current legislature is more conservative and more in the pocket of big business than the last one. In this case, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. Vote yes!