Frequently Asked Questions
What does Proposal 1 do?
- Proposal 1 is Michigan’s chance to finally guarantee sustainable, long-term funding for safe and effective roads.
- If passed, Proposal 1 would remove the sales tax from fuel sales and replace it with a gas tax that would be spent solely on transportation. In order to replace the revenue lost to local communities and schools, the proposal would increase the sales tax slightly from 6% to 7%
- This change would modernize the state’s road funding system and raise a much-needed $1.2 billion a year for roads.
- Proposal 1 would also, for the first time, constitutionally guarantee that all state taxes paid on gas must go to transportation, ensuring that Michigan will no longer rely on plywood, gravel, or other temporary fixes.
What is the current condition of Michigan roads?
- The numbers don’t lie. Michigan’s transportation infrastructure is crumbling.
- According to the national transportation research group TRIP, 38% of the state’s urban roads and 32% of its rural roads are in poor condition. In addition, data from the Federal Highway Administration shows that 1 in 9 Michigan bridges are structurally deficient.
Aren’t heavy trucks the reason for Michigan’s bad roads?
- No; this is a common myth. If it was the case, roads outside of heavy shipping corridors like I-94 and I-96 would be in good condition – but that is not the case.
- Reducing truck weight limits could cause more damage to Michigan’s road system, since more trucks would be needed on the road (also increasing traffic congestion and raising safety concerns).
Can’t we fix Michigan’s roads with existing state money?
- No. The state doesn’t have the money to fix Michigan’s roads and bridges today without drastically cutting essential funding for our local communities, schools and first responders.
- Michigan invests less per capita in transportation than any state in all of America. According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, neighboring Ohio invests over $1 billion more in its roads each year. We simply can’t fix our roads without raising more revenue.
What was the last time Michigan raised taxes to fund roads?
- 1997, and 18 years later, its time to for Michigan to modernize its road funding system and finally ensure sustainable, long-term funding for our roads.
How much will Proposal 1 cost me?
- Waiting to fix Michigan’s roads will only cost us more. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), we lose nearly $3 million daily and over $1 billion annually in the value of the state’s transportation infrastructure.
- Fixing the problem now will save money later. AASHTO estimates that for every $1 invested in maintaining our roads and bridges, we save at least $6 in reconstruction costs.
What guarantees does Proposal 1 contain for taxpayers?
- Proposal 1 includes strong guarantees for Michigan taxpayers:
- Proposal 1 would, for the first time, constitutionally guarantee that all state taxes paid on gas must go to transportation.
- Proposal 1 also guarantees that if roads don’t last, road builders pay to fix them, not taxpayers.
Is it true that Michigan will have the highest sales tax in the country if Proposal 1 is passed?
- No. According to the Tax Foundation, there are currently 5 Great Lakes states that have sales tax rates equal to or higher than 7% (Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, New York and Minnesota)
What happens if Proposal 1 doesn’t pass?
- Put simply, Michigan’s infrastructure, its roads and bridges, will continue to deteriorate and crumble. New businesses and jobs will continue to be driven away to other states, first responders will continue to be delayed reaching emergency situations and, most importantly, drivers’ lives will continue be put in danger. Public safety and our economy depend on Proposal 1’s passage.
- Proposal 1 is our last, best chance guarantee safe and effective roads in Michigan.