David vs. Goliath: Boosting the sales tax to fix the roads

The battle over boosting the sales tax to fix the roads is shaping up as a classic confrontation between grassroots and the big special interests. Or for you with a biblical leaning, David vs. Goliath.

David, played by the myriad of anti-tax groups around the state, will need more than a tiny pebble to beat Goliath, played by Gov. Rick Snyder and all his friends who want to hike the sales tax next May and will shell out millions of dollars to pass it.

Keith Allard from the Grand Rapids Taxpayers Association has already formed a ballot committee to oppose the governor and while his strategy is yet to be laid out, he makes it clear this plan is a non-starter.

"We've kind of put together our war council. We've been talking to people across the state. We all know one another...this is going to hurt disposable income, this is going to hurt the ability to save over time and it hurts the next generation of Michiganders who will be paying the higher sales tax for their entire life because these things don't go down once they go up."

Mr. Allard's earlier attempt to beat back an income tax hike in G.R. to fix potholes failed. He says this time is different in that he has more time to plan and "once the proposal begins to sink in, people will realize what's coming. You're going to see a lot of interest in opposing it," he figures.

But how much money can the anti-taxers raise?

The governor will have much more as he can promise much more to the special interests. The other side has nothing to offer except the threat of trying to defeat politicians who back the tax hike, but that election is two years down the road.

Meanwhile down in Florida this week, a more serious challenge to the governor may be unfolding at a national conclave of the Americans for Prosperity which does have access to mucho moola.

There is a contingency from Michigan down there and a source says the sales tax hike will likely be discussed with national leaders.  Count on it.

Hence David may end up with more than a pebble but will the rock be big enough to send Goliath into a huge pothole?
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