Posted on Sales tax proposal for roads endorsed by Kent, Ottawa governments: ‘We need more’ money in Mlive on Friday, 6 Feb 2015 (updated and corrected after I actually read the article)

2/6/2015 9:40 AM We just drove the entire east coast, twice.

It turns out that just about every state is claiming to have the most under funded, worst, or neglected roads in the country. Pennsylvania wants 5 billion, Virginia (which really does have bad roads) needs money to expand ?I80… The civil engineers and construction companies need work!

As far as I could tell, Michigan’s roads are pretty good and no worse than those in Indiana or Ohio. The race to be the tallest dwarf in the circus is in the stretch I don’t want to question my friend Mayor Kepley on his math but these taxes will raise 1.6 billion, which distributed over 10 million folks in Michigan means every man, woman and child will pay 160 dollars-each. The average householder will be on the hook for 320, 480, 640 dollars or more (There is an average Kentwood household size somewhere; I don’t believe it’s possible to have fractional people but maybe with the new math…..)

The legislators in Lansing ignored cost savings in the prevailing wage thing. They pandered to special interests by paying for schools, buying off small town politicians (like myself) and to the paranoid hermits who live and drive only in a few inner cities like Grand Rapids where the roads are neglected and the money diverted to public transportation (economically worthless), bike paths (great in February in Michigan), new urbanism, “downtown” development and other green scams.

Few except special interests benefit from these, but they do provide for press releases that please politicians and our intellectual leaders in the media. The tax proposal is poorly written and confusing; not likely to pass. I know that we small town pols love “free money”, the two Santa Clause theory of politics, that both the red faced alcoholic and the government shower us with goodies, but a more sober appraisal forces us to continue to mind our knitting, keep costs down and to pay off our debts. The 50k Kentwood residents will pay 7.5 million in additional state taxes and get back a nominal (the state guides us in how we will spend it) 2 million next year, maybe 4 million plus some angel dust for schools after a few years. I’d hate to run for re-election boasting to our citizens of that kind of arithmetic. The swindle might be obvious if the money were collected locally and spent by politicians elected by those same taxpayers.

This state wide exaction obfuscates; in this confused, oversized public tit, a lot gets lost in the ducts-and the state legislators counted on that muddle to avoid blame and should be rewarded at the polls. However one rewards mendacity.

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