LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - The GOP Chair of the K-12 budget committee is accusing the education lobby with over reacting to a plan to eliminate the sales tax on gasoline. The lobby says that will cost the schools $800 million in lost revenue.
The education lobby fired off a news release urging members to oppose legislative efforts to remove $800 million from the schools. It is true lawmakers are looking at erasing the 6 percent sales tax now collected at the pump with the bulk of those dollars going to education.
But Rep. Wayne Schmidt, Chair of the House Transportation Committee, promises if that money is taken away a replacement will be found. But the education lobby which took a billion dollars hit three years ago, is worried because the replacement, so far, has not been found.
"That's yet to be determined. We are not going to take it away. They've made some sacrifices just like everyone else in this state, but we're committed to replacing that," said Schmidt.
But with what? A November vote to raise the sales tax from 6 to 7 percent might be that option.
"Another sales tax proposal could cover that lost revenue," said Ed Lanoya, a lobbyist with the County Road Assoc. "I'm not saying it will be done, but it's an option."
Which is why this democrat says she won't vote to change the sales tax unless there is a guarantee. "Obviously, the cuts are bad and we need to backfill that," said Marilyn Lane, who is on the transportation committee.
The committee has not voted on the sales tax cut and sales tax increase yet.
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