LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed gas tax increase she announced during her fist state of the state address in Feb. 2019 stirred the conversation in Lansing and Thursday, the conversation continued looking for a solution.
The proposed 45-cent gas tax increase was met with swift and significant opposition from Republican lawmakers in the legislature. During a solutions summit Thursday, hosted by Bridge Magazine, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association Executive Vice President Mike Nystrom said the current situation of the roads is a result of historic underfunding.
“Funding has been the problem, it’s been a political problem. Folks just don’t want to pay more, they want us to redirect what they are already paying and yet that money is always in questions as far as other priorities on an annual basis,” he explained. “So, focusing on a real fix on our roads now, can save us significant dollars in the future because ultimately we are in a situation that the longer we talk about this further we fall behind.”
Nystrom said he understands the hesitation from Michiganders to fork over more tax dollars to improve the roads, especially since in 2015, the gas tax was increased in a multi-year plan to raise more dollars dedicated to roads.
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