On Tuesday, March 5, Governor Whitmer made her first budget presentation to the state legislature. During her presentation, she boldly proposed increasing the gas tax to 45-cents per gallon in an effort to raise the more than $2.5 billion needed annually to stop the rapid decline of Michigan’s roads.
The following details are from Gongwer News Service:
The 171 percent increase in the now 26.3 cents per gallon gasoline tax outranks the tax shift toward individuals signed by Governor Rick Snyder, the 50 percent increase in the sales tax under Proposal A of 1994 and the 38 percent income tax increase of 1983 in terms of the scope of the change. The plan also increases the 26.3 cents per gallon tax on diesel and the alternative fuels tax for electric vehicles.
Ms. Whitmer said Tuesday she understands the magnitude of the proposal, but it is one that matches the scope of Michigan’s underinvestment in its roads and their rapidly deteriorating condition, generally ranked the worst in the nation.
“I’m not asking something that is easy,” Ms. Whitmer told a joint meeting of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. “I get that. But I also know this: The worst vote a legislator can take is a vote that proposes to solve a problem but doesn’t actually fix it.”
The governor made “fix the damn roads” her campaign mantra and she made it clear Tuesday that she is uninterested in half-measures. Only a plan that raises $2.5 billion more per year will arrest the decline in the percentage of the state’s roads rated good or fair and then eventually begin increasing that percentage to the goal of 90 percent. Under Ms. Whitmer’s plan, that goal would be hit by 2030.
Mike Nystrom, MITA Executive Vice President, issued the following statement regarding the Governor’s budget proposal:
“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer campaigned on the pledge to fix Michigan’s aging and crumbling infrastructure, and her proposed 2020 state budget appears to signal that she intends to offer the bold leadership needed to solve a problem that governors and the Legislature have largely failed to resolve for two decades. Multiple studies have estimated that Michigan needs to be investing $2.6 billion more every year for the next two decades to fix our roads and bridges. Michigan voters are watching Lansing and waiting to see if the Legislature and Governor will join together to exercise the leadership necessary to produce a solution that will finally fix our roads and other infrastructure.”
If you have any questions, please contact Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President, at email@example.com, or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be reached at the MITA office by calling 517-347-8336.