Small Business Disappointed with New Road Funding Proposal

Date: December 01, 2014

Small Business Disappointed with New Road Funding Proposal

December 22, 2014 (Lansing) – While expressing early optimism as
the lame duck road funding proposal moved through conference committee during
the last week of the 2014 session, the state’s leading small business
organization, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), said
it is disappointed with the final product.

Early reports indicated
that the proposal would end the current practice of charging a sales tax on
fuel at the pump that does not go to road funding and shift the money back
to roads where it belongs. Local governments and schools would be reimbursed
the lost money via a state-wide ballot proposal to increase the overall sales
tax by a penny or 7 percent from the current 6 percent. The gas tax would
remain the same and roads would see additional funding.

However, when the dust
settled, the final proposal veered from the encouraging outline presented
originally into a proposal that reflected political horse-trading and caving in
to Democrat demands for higher taxes and pet programs and projects. In addition to
increasing the gas tax and registration fees, the proposal is tied to
reinstating the 20 percent earned income tax credit, a new internet tax
proposal, and a set aside program for “disadvantaged small
business”.  

Worst of all, as part
of the deal to get the necessary votes to pass the final proposal, it appears
that the Governor has indicated he will veto any bill that would end Michigan’s
wasteful and unfair prevailing wage law. This last concession is a major handout
to construction trade unions at the expense of merit shop and small business
contractors. It also encourages the overcharging of taxpayers on publicly
funded construction projects by requiring that union scale wages be paid
regardless of whether a contractor has non-union employees.

While disappointed
with the final proposal, NFIB’s official position of support or opposition to
the plan will be decided by NFIB’s small business members when it is put in
front of them for a vote. NFIB determines policy positions on issues on behalf
of its members by a voting process that allows all members a voice in the
process. A survey on the road funding plan and the May, 2015 sales tax ballot
proposal will be sent out to the members in the coming weeks.

Related Content: Small Business News | Michigan

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