Michigan governor lays out roads plan

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gov. Rick Snyder wants to raise an estimated $1.2 billion in new revenue each year for transportation. His plan includes an overhaul for how the state collects taxes at the pump.

The governor announced the 10-year, $12 billion plan that relies on taxes and fee increases during his State of the State speech Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the state Capitol. He said the new revenue would help protect existing assets from further deterioration.

“It’s time to do something, folks; we need to invest more in our roads. ... Let’s do something to put more resources into our roads and redo our road distribution formula,” Snyder told the joint session of House and Senate lawmakers.

He called on lawmakers to approve a plan to change how the state collects fuel taxes.

Currently, the state’s per-gallon tax rate on fuels does not change. Lawmakers haven’t increased the 19-cent-a-gallon gas tax and 15-cent-a-gallon diesel tax since 1998.

Snyder wants to get rid of the current system and start taxing gas and diesel at the wholesale level. The change would allow tax collections to increase with inflation.

“Let’s be blunt, these are about user fees.”

Snyder did not provide specifics for the percentage value of the tax. Instead, he called on lawmakers to work something out.

Another component of the governor’s plan would let local governments increase vehicle registration fees to benefit area roads.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Michigan, click here.

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