Have you heard about Proposal 1 that will be on the May ballot? Did you know that it’s not only a proposal to fix the roads, but it will also help our city and our schools?
Proposal 1 is a complex plan with simple goals. If passed, Proposal 1 will:
o pay down the Michigan Transportation Debt. Our state has been borrowing money to fix our roads. If Proposal 1 passes, we will pay off our debt. No more borrowing!
o fix our structural problems with our roads and bridges.
o protect and increase money that comes to our city and our schools.
o provide tax relief for low income families.
How will all this work?
Right now when we go to the gas/fuel pump, we pay taxes that go to the Michigan Transportation fund, the federal highway fund, the School Aide fund, cities and townships, the Michigan Health Initiative and the State’s General Fund.
If Proposal 1 passes, there will be a restructuring of the fuel/gas tax. All fuel/gas taxes will go to roads and bridges. We may see an increase of about 3 cents per gallon.
If Proposal 1 passes, the state sales tax will increase from 6% - 7% (If you shop in Indiana at the mall, you are already paying 7% sales tax). Money that is collected from the increase in sales taxes will go towards:
o paying down our transportation debt.
o constitutionally guaranteeing that our School Aid Fund will be safeguarded. The State Legislature will no longer be able to take money from the School Aid Fund to help balance the General Fund Budget (This year the legislature took about $304 per student from the State Aide Fund. For Buchanan, this is a loss for $473,632 that never came to the district). We would see an increase of about $ 200.00 per student.
For Buchanan, this would bring in approximately $300,000 more per year. No more losses or lack of funding for schools.
o an increase of approximately $75,000 the first year, $150,000 the second year, and $225,000 the third year to the City of Buchanan to help fix our city roads.
o tax relief for working low income families. For instance, a couple with three children making about $45,000 per year would see their state Earned Income Tax Credit increase from about $94 to $312. These funds were reduced in 2011 and will be restored.
Please vote on May 5!
Dr. van der Laan