DETROIT — An anti-tax coalition has launched a campaign against a proposed transit millage for southeastern Michigan as proponents tout a growing list of supporters, including big business and health care companies.
The group, called NoMassiveTransitTax.org, on Monday announced its opposition campaign against the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan’s 1.2-millage tax proposal.
According to the group, the plan would amount to a massive tax hike on top of what residents already pay through gas taxes, vehicle registration fees and existing transit rates.
“This tax hike proposal is vastly more expensive than any other regional tax in metro Detroit history and will cost the average homeowner thousands of dollars,” Leon Drolet, treasurer of NoMassiveTransitTax.org, said in a news release.
Drolet also said the proposal would create “bus only” lanes which would close major roads to cars and create an even worse commute for car owners.
The Regional Transit Authority said that its plan could make for a faster commute and argued that 92 percent of jobs in southeastern Michigan cannot be reached within 60 minutes using existing transit.
The proposal has supporters, including a group called Citizens for Connecting our Communities made up of businesses, organizations and leaders throughout the region. It has launched a campaign website in support of the proposal called VoteYesForRegionaltransit.com.
“Citizens for Connecting our Communities is confident the voters of southeast Michigan will vote yes to connect Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties to help people get to and from work with reliable transportation, to help seniors and people with disabilities live more independently, and boost economic development,” said Kelly Rossman-McKinney, a spokeswoman for the group.
The plan would expand commuter and local bus service, provide connections among the region and add commuter rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit, among other projects.