It’s not too late to master the basics of Proposal 1. Here’s a 5-minute version.

Asphalt can only be made in warmer temperatures, so maybe it’s fitting that the transportation fix-it solution cooked up by the lame-duck legislature in Lansing last December is being voted on in warm, sunny May.

Whether voters’ moods match the weather is uncertain.

As Election Day arrives, here’s your short-and-perhaps-oversimplified version of Proposal 1, for those who may have been avoiding the debate so far.

Here’s what it would do, should the measure pass: It would raise the state sales tax by a penny (17 percent). It would change the fuel tax, removing sales tax and the flat per-gallon tax and instituting a new gas tax of 14.9 percent, based on the wholesale price of fuel. Obviously that’s a changing figure, but at current gas prices, the consumer’s price at the pump would rise by about a dime per gallon.

All of this would raise money for Michigan’s transportation infrastructure, and a lot more. Money would also go to the School Aid Fund, revenue sharing for local municipalities and the state general fund. It’s about $2 billion the first year, and falls after that to level out at around $1.2 billion a year for transportation, the amount Gov. Rick Snyder says is needed to improve Michigan’s pitted roads and bridges.

And yes, this is the short version. Proposal 1 is a big, complicated piece of legislation, and for readers who want to know more, here are some useful links to Bridge coverage:

A Bridge primer on Proposal 1 goes deeper into the details. Who supports and opposes it? Find out here. What if it doesn’t pass? Good question.

The House Fiscal Agency analysis of the legislation may be useful to some, along with the Citizens Research Council of Michigan analysis, and webinar.

Truth Squad took a look at the advertising on both sides, delivering a warning and foul to two pro-Prop 1 spots, and fouls to two ads from the opposition.

Whatever your sentiments, make sure you know the facts about Proposal 1 and vote Tuesday on this important measure.

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Comments

Jay Johnson
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 10:01am
With Proposition 1, we are going to: (A) tax ourselves about $2 billion more in order to pay off Governor Engler's road bond debt; (B) restore $292 million to the school aid fund from which the 2014 lame duck legislature just stole $150 million to "balance" the budget; (C) pay $261 million to restore the earned income tax credit that Governor Snyder stole to help provide funding for his two massive business tax cuts that were going to provide "jobs" that would increase income tax revenues; (D) pay $100 million to our local governments to replace the "constitutionally guaranteed " revenue sharing funds that Lansing has defaulted on from almost the get go. We, the voters, are being asked, yet again, to increase the most regressive of all of our taxes in order to fill revenue shortfalls created by more than twenty years’ of tax-cutting governmental malfeasance.
frank
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 10:28am
Right on Jay... you hit the nail squarely on the head!!!!!!! Our elected officials are complete doofuses...
Richard Skalski
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 8:03pm
The word I would to describe our legislatures begins with the first letter in the alphabet and ends with the first letter of my last name. You fill in the middle. They are all more interested in their party line than what we hired (elected) them to do. It is all about politics or who is lining their pockets with PAC money. I call it bribes.
blufox
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 3:34pm
AMEN!
Don
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 10:04am
You have diminished the VARIABLE tax on the wholesale rate on gasoline to be currently about 10 cents per gallon. Wholesale prices are at a recent all time low and surely will go up. Global events and sanctions against Russia and Iran along with Saudia Arabia working to maintain market share while current demand is low has caused a temporary dip in the wholesale price. /WHEN the price returns to a "normal" such as in 2013, the tax will be about 42 cents per gallon and the price at the pump will be nearing $4.75. I am also concerned that a NO vote would bring out the vindictive nature of our Governor to "punish" us rather than to take appropriate alternative action. Think about this; When the unions attempted to get "Collective Bargaining for All" into the State Constitution, the Governor countered with Right To Work Law. Also when the people and Reps said NO to the new bridge to Canada, he countered with negotiating and International Agreement with the U.S. and Canada to do just that. He has lowered business taxes and raised individual taxes and tax on income of seniors to pick up the slack. The State budget has increased revenue of $4.5 Billion over the past two years to now $53 Billion and yet he can't find $1.2 Billion for roads? So the answer is to take advantage of the "Roads" issue and increase taxes even more. In this he also includes more funding for schools and local governments that already receive adequate funding with a few exceptions. He has become a tax and spend governor. I applaud much of what he has done for Michigan but he is now overreaching in his last term.
Marion
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 10:38am
The people did not NOT want the bridge to Canada. Quite the opposite. They don't want the billionaire to have everything and the Canadian government is footing the majority of the bill. Canada desperately wants the bridge and the people want it for many reasons, not the least of which is more jobs
John S Porter
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 1:55pm
"the vindictive nature of our Governor to “punish” us rather than to take appropriate alternative action. . ." Nobody actually says what the alternative to this proposal would be. Does "punish" mean not fixing the roads at all? Does "punish" mean taking money from other sectors of state government? Does "punish" mean raising taxes on somebody else? What is the "appropriate alternative action"?
brokengovt
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 10:33am
Relax everyone. Unlike Obamacare, the electorate has had some time to digest and understand this shameful attempt to distract voters with a proposal that has a name that draws interest. The legislature and the governor have embarrassed themselves and left the citizens indigent and angered they thought us stupid. Ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge in a given subject or issue. Stupidity is having the knowledge and rebuking it for an agenda or personal gain in this case. Again, relax. You are about to witness a revolt and a population ready to have a day of reckoning. Wednesday is the first day to vent your disgust and start with real serious pressure on Lansing. They say it is a hard subject to resolve. I offer the following; "Shall the state raise the sales tax one cent to repair/rebuild roads and bridges allocated strictly and fully for that purpose only?" Took me two seconds to think of and seven seconds to type it. Perhaps I should run for governor...........
Rick
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 10:51am
brokengovt - Right on. Never good to elect people to run our government who don't like governing and want to destroy it. Time to vote these idiots and vote to get some adult Democrats in to, again, clean things up and work for the citizens of the state instead of the rich and corporate interests.
blufox
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 3:38pm
THAT'S the problem. Like a bad penny, we can't get rid of them until they term limit out, then switch houses to continue our misery. The Gerrymandering that has gone on, has made it virtually impossible to get rid of an incumbent.
John Q. Public
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 6:25pm
Thanks to the publisher for allowing reader comments. Without those, there would not be a complete understanding of the "whys" of Proposal 1. Every columnist in favor of passage did a laudable of of explaining the "whats" concerning where the new revenue would go. They always--ALWAYS--skipped over the part explaining that the reason the revenue is needed for many of those purposes is because of the consistent historical mendacity of our legislature, which shows no indication of having changed in that regard. Without the many reader comments pointing that out, the public would lack the proper perspective to cast an informed vote. So thanks again to Bridge's publisher and editor for permitting the readers to fill in the holes, and to the readers who helped do so.