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May 6, 2015 10:40 AM, EDT

Michigan Voters Reject Transportation Funding Plan That Would Have Raised Sales Tax

Beatrice Murch/Flickr

Michigan voters have overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have raised the state sales tax from 6% to 7% as the key element in a sweeping transportation funding plan now dead.

The measure on the May 5 ballot was defeated 4 to 1 with the majority of voters in all 83 counties saying no to the proposed tax increase.

Gov. Rick Snyder (R) who worked with lawmakers to craft the funding plan and the ballot measure said he was disappointed by the vote but that making Michigan’s infrastructure safer remains a top priority.

“While voters didn’t support this particular proposal, we know they want action taken to maintain and improve our roads and bridges,” he said in a statement.

“The ‘relentless’ part of relentless positive action means that we start anew to find a comprehensive, long-term solution to this problem. Doing nothing isn’t an option as the costs are too great,” he said.

The measure was supported by the Michigan Trucking Association and other business leaders, as well as labor unions, public safety officials, local governments and teachers.

If it had passed, the sales tax increase would have allowed the state to stop applying the general 6% sales tax to fuel purchases. The revenue from that levy goes to schools.

The ballot measure was defeated 1,405,715 to 349,813.