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WSW: What Happens to Roads After the "Epic Disaster" of Proposal 1?

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Gongwer News Service Editor Zach Gorchow says placing Proposal 1 on the ballot has turned out to be "one the biggest political miscalculations in modern Michigan political history." 

Unofficial results show about 80% of those casting ballots voted "no" on Tuesday. Gorchow says that makes the defeat of the ballot proposal historic. He says it's one of the worst performing proposed amendments to the state Constitution ever, and appears to have lowest percentage of support of any proposal since the most recent version of the Michigan Constitution was approved in 1963. 

Proposal 1 would have raised the state sales tax and triggered a series of other changes to state law to boost funding for roads. Gorchow says it's always hard to get a tax increase approved, but he says the ballot proposal's overwhelming defeat makes it even more difficult politically to approve any additional revenue for roads. 

"This was one of the biggest political miscalculations in modern Michigan political history."

On the Gongwer News Service Blog, Gorchow offered analysis on Election Night of the winners and losers of Proposal 1. He says the winners include the "no new taxes crowd." The losers include anyone looking for a ballot question to be part of the solution on road funding. Gorchow says the overwhelming defeat makes another ballot question extremely unlikely. He says the only possibility would be if it were put forward as one option. In 1994 Michigan voters approved an increase in the sales tax under "Proposal A." But they knew if it failed the income tax would be raised. 

Governor Snyder is also among Proposal 1's losers. Gorchow says this has been the governor's signature issue now for two years. He says putting the sales tax question on the ballot has turned out to be a huge mistake. Gorchow says while any campaign for President by Snyder would have been a long shot, he says Tuesday's vote pours some cold water on the idea. 

Interview with Zach Gorchow - web version

Gorchow says getting a deal done on roads will likely take a lot of work by Snyder. He says the governor can't be doing that work if he is spending large amounts of time in Iowa and New Hampshire that would be required to make a serious bid for the GOP Presidential nomination. 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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