Skubick: 3 questions about hiking the sales tax to fix the roads

Now that the governor has helped nail down a new football coach for his beleaguered alma mater in A2, he can move on to another top priority for the new year by figuring out how to squeeze a yes vote out of the electorate on a 17 percent sales tax hike to fix the roads.

Toward that end, word has gone from the administration that a top level strategy session will be staged soon as all the principal players will be summoned to share their wisdom on how to do it, but more importantly the governor hopes they will share something else.

Their money and lots of it.

Unconfirmed reports in the media have suggested it will take a tidy sum just north of $20 million to do this.  

As one insider, who is aware of the impending summit put it, the governor will have to spend a lot of his political capital in order to get everyone to cough up their capital and this is by no means a gimme.

At the table will be organized labor, the business community, road builders, local governments and anybody else with a check book large enough to make a difference.

So far the governor has put some goodies in this sales tax package to attract, say for example, the teacher's unions. They supposedly get an extra $200 per pupil if this sales tax is adopted. 

Question: Is that increase enough to get the teachers on board with a healthy financial contribution, or will they provide lip-service instead?

Question: Not all businesses will pony-up until after some real soul searching and member pulse-taking. A new 7 percent sales tax could be a burden to some businesses.

Question: No one knows how strong the opposition will be which is loathed to see another tax hike piled on the others adopted by the Snyder administration during the last four years. If they chip in millions, the advertising budget for the "yes" vote could escalate, too.

And then what happens if the first poll comes out showing the electorate is not eager to tax itself even if it is to fix the roads that nobody likes?

Traditionally bad polling prompts the special interests to slam shut their check books and the governor won't like that.

The statewide vote May 15th is closer than you think and the governor knows he and his friends need to get hopping.


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