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Would you support a "regional" or county retail sales tax to fund mass transit?


Would you support a county level sales tax to support mass transit, and how much?  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you support a local retail sales tax to fund mass transit?

    • Yes, I would support a county-level sales tax
    • No, I would not support a county-level sales tax
    • Other
  2. 2. If yes, would you support a local sales tax increase of...

    • .5% (1/2 cent) to increase retail sales tax to 6.5%
    • .75% (3/4 cent) to increase retail sales tax to 6.75%
    • 1.00% (1 cent) to increase retail sales tax to 7.00%
    • No, I would not support an increased sales tax
    • Other
  3. 3. Would you ride mass transit if service ran in your area?

    • Yes, I would ride mass transit and support a tax increase
    • No, I would not ride mass transit and not support funding at all
    • No, I would not ride mass transit, but WOULD support funding for mass transit
    • Other

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If my computations are correct, Metro Detroit counties would be looking at something like this:

Wayne County Retail Sales (subtracting out food sales): $15 Billion

.5% (1/2 cent) sales tax = $75,000,000/year in tax revenue

.75% (3/4 cent) = $112,500,000/year

1.00% (1 cent) = $150,000,000/year

Oakland County Retail Sales: $17 Billion

.5% = $85,000,000/year

.75% = $127,500,000/year

1.00% = $170,000,000/year

Macomb County Retail Sales: $10 Billion

.5% = $50,000,000/year

.75% = $75 Million/year

1.00% = $100 Million/year

Retail Sales Tax Info by County

1% across the board for the tri-county area would produce a whopping $420 Million/year, or $4.2 billion over 10 years. At $40 Million/mile, that's 105 miles of light rail alignment.

Essentially it would mean that a $50 shirt that normally has $3.00 in sales tax would then go to $3.50 for a 1 cent sales tax increase (1.00%). A $30,000 car, which would normally have an $1800 sales tax would then go to $2100 for a 1 cent sales tax (1.00%).

It would cost the average taxpayer approximately $60 year, lower in most years with the most out of pocket sales tax coming when you purchase big ticket items like a boat or car (but hardly burdensome).

Much like the current State sales tax of 6.00%, groceries and prescriptions would be exempt as to not create an extra burden on lower income families and the elderly.

If you choose "other" on any of the above, please explain other ideas or feedback.

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I'd use the mass transit if it was reliable, the routes were clear and concise, and if it went to where I need to go.

I'm very strongly against half percents, because they're confusing. 6% is bad enough! :dunno::dunno::dunno:

I think it's a good plan, and it seems more feasible than other plans I've heard.

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The tough part about getting a county-level sales tax is getting it changed at the State level. It would require an amendment to the state constitution, which isn't exactly unheard of. As I've mentioned here before in other threads, Lansing legislators wouldn't actually be increasing taxes themselves (they wouldn't risk ticking off their anti-tax constituents), they would just be empowering counties to have the ability to levy their own sales tax. It would then be up to the counties to put it to the voters at the county level for approval. The county voters might reject it, but it's another tool in the mass transit tool-belt. Pressure from the Detroit area would really help us on the West Side, and I think vice versa.

Michigan is only one of a handful of states that does not allow cities or counties to levy sales taxes. We're rather behind on the idea, and sales taxes are becoming popular tax tools around the country.


This poll is looking a lot like a similar poll run in the Grand Rapids forum. Excellent!

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lol, but what's the feesability of getting the three counties to align with each other and work something like this out? It could be an economic releaver for the area in more ways than one.

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Given our history slim and none I can already Brooks Patterson now whining how this would put an undue burden Oakland County taxpayers

Why a sales tax? SMART is supported by property taxes in communities it serves

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