Possible $800 million hit to Michigan school budget - New York News

Possible $800 million hit to Michigan school budget has education corner worried

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Lansing WJBK -

That's that ugly "trust" word again.

House Republicans are inching toward a comprehensive transportation package, which is code for, they might raise taxes to get the job done.  For sure it looks like they want to wipe-out the state sales tax which is now collected at the pump.

Most of that money does not go for roads, but due to some quirk, it goes to schools.

Which is why the school lobby has come unglued with the notion of losing the $800 million from the gas sales tax with no plan to replace it.

A rally-the-troops memo went out from the Tri-County Education Alliance in southeast Michigan urging members to block this move.

Hold your horses, cry some key GOP lawmakers.

The chair of the House K-12 budget committee called the move from the school lobby an "over-reaction as usual." Rep. Bill Rogers (R-Brighton) believes the schools will not get that cut saying, "We can't afford to strip that much more."

The GOP chair of the House Transportation committee issued his own assurances contending, "We are not taking any money from education."

But the stark reality remains.  There's nothing on the table to replace it if the sales tax goes bye-bye.

Mr. Schmidt again, "That's got to be determined but we are not going to take it away…we're committed to replacing that."

In other words, education lobby, trust us.

There's the rub.

There ain't a lot of that commodity around these parts these days.

Pro-education lawmakers and their friends want to see the replacement before they blindly vote for any sales tax relief at the pump.

That could be a new and higher sales tax at seven rather than six cents.  But that has not been introduced and it will take a two-thirds vote of lawmakers to place it on the ballot and then, the voters would have to approve it.

In other words, it's not soup yet.  Which is why the education lobby is scared. 

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