Last week the MITA funded Public Sector Consultants (PSC) report “Michigan Transportation Infrastructure Needs and Funding Solutions” was released to the public. In brief, the report shows that $9 billion dollars a year is the current need to maintain and rebuild our current road system to the 90% good and fair condition level, a goal that Michigan has set for the state’s transportation infrastructure system. The current gap to reach $9 billion is $3.9 billion even with the influx of Federal IIJA dollars and the Governor’s Rebuilding Michigan bond program. As you’ll see below the topic was of great interest to the media even during a hectic week full of legislative action. The forming of a coalition to work on this important issue has started and meetings will commence in the near future.
If you’re wondering about our Governor’s response to the report, MITA believes three quotes from last week let us know exactly where she stands. She said, “I might be the person least surprised by the results of that study.” “Anyone who says they can be fixed overnight, or even in one decade, is dishonest or just doesn’t understand the seriousness of the issue at hand.” And last but not least: “We simply can’t afford to wait”.
FixMIstate will be the coalition’s outlet for reports https://fixmistate.org/reports-research/ and various materials that you can share with your employees, family members, and friends (such as the PSC report and Executive Summary). MITA will also be sharing/updating information through all its social media platforms so please share these items through your own outlets so “we” can reach as many people as possible with our messaging. If you’re looking for content, reach out to Danielle or Lindsay in the MITA office or simply scroll through our platforms and share items that you like. Additionally, links to MITA’s activity with the press can be found on the MITA website with this link, https://thinkmita.org/category/mita-in-the-news/.
PSC Report Coverage: In just four days last week
The media response to the unveiling of the PSC report was extremely positive. Nearly 50 stories were published covering every market around the state and beyond. All of the coverage received an estimated 368,000 views, based on audience reach and engagement rate on social media. The articles reached an estimated 87,105,052 individuals – 62,489,726 on mobile devices and 23,227,579 on desktop computers. The combined total of publication-wide audience figures for all outlets is 302 million, which includes overlap and people who could’ve been reached multiple times by each article.
Report estimates up to $3.9B funding gap for Michigan roads, floats tax increase (The Detroit News, 3/7/23)
Trade group: Michigan’s lousy roads getting lousier, need $3.9B more per year (Bridge Michigan, 3/7/23)
Trade group: Michigan roads getting lousier, need $3.9B more per year (Bridge Detroit, 3/7/23)
Michigan facing $3.9B deficit in road funding, new report finds (MLive, 3/7/23)
Study: Michigan underfunding roads by up to $3.9 billion a year (Crain’s Detroit Business, 3/7/23) ATTACHED
Report: Michigan’s road and bridge funding gap is growing (Michigan Radio, 3/7/23)
New report says Michigan is $4 billion short to fix roads and bridges (Yahoo! News, 3/7/23)
Increase In Fuel, Sales Taxes Among Road Funding Solutions Proposed (Gongwer, 3/7/23) ATTACHED
Report: Michigan needs $3.9B more per year to keep up with road, bridge repairs (WDIV, 3/7/23)
New report suggests Michigan needs $3.9 billion a year to fix the roads (WXYZ, 3/7/23)
Study claims Michigan is $4 billion short to fix state roads, bridges (FOX 2 Detroit, 3/7/23)
Michigan officials discuss funding gap for road maintenance (Upper Michigan’s Source, 3/7/23)
Michigan underfunding roads by $3.9B per year, new report finds (WWMT, 3/7/23)
$3.9 billion deficit for Michigan roads, leaders discussing options for closing gap (WZZM 13, 3/7/23)
REPORT: Michigan could need up to $4B to fix the roads (WNDU, 3/8/23)
$3.9 billion deficit for Michigan roads, leaders discussing options for closing gap (WTOL, 3/7/23)
Michigan’s roads and bridges face billions in budget needs, report finds (WCMU, 3/7/23)
Gov. Whitmer is not surprised road repair is underfunded (WKZO, 3/8/23)
Study says Michigan is underfunding road repairs by $3.9 billion per year (WHTC, 3/8/23)
Study says Michigan is underfunding road repairs by $3.9 billion per year (WKZO, 3/8/23)
Study says Michigan is underfunding road repairs by $3.9 billion per year (WTVB, 3/7/23)
Report: Michigan’s road and bridge funding gap is growing (WKAR, 3/8/23)
Study says Michigan is underfunding road repairs by $3.9 billion per year (WIN Country, 3/8/23)
Report: Michigan’s road and bridge funding gap is growing (Interlochen Public Radio, 3/8/23)
Report: Michigan Needs $3.9 Billion More To Fix Roads, Bridges (Radio Results Network, 3/7/23)
Radio Broadcasts + TV Interviews
WXMI/FOX 17 (3/8/23)
Michigan Radio (3/8/23)
WZZM 13 – America This Morning (3/8/23)
WZZM 13 (3/7/23)
WXYZ Detroit – 7 Action News at 5 (3/7/23)
Michigan Radio (3/7/23)
All Talk with Jordan and Dietz – Rob Interview (WJR, 3/7/23)
Trade group: Michigan’s lousy roads getting lousier, need $3.8B more per year (Lansing City Pulse, 3/7/23)
Report: Michigan needs $3.9B annually to fix roads (The Center Square, 3/7/23)
Report: Michigan Needs $3.9B Annually to Fix Roads (Autobody News, 3/7/23)
Report: Michigan needs $3.9B annually to fix roads (Iosco County News-Herald, 3/7/23)
Michigan Roads See Funding Gap of Up to $3.9 Billion as Report Floats Tax Increase(Transport Topics, 3/7/23)
Study claims Michigan is $4 billion short to fix state roads, bridges (News Pub, 3/8/23)
Leaders discuss closing $3.9 billion deficit for Michigan roads (Money Market Advisor, 3/8/23)
New Report Suggests Michigan Needs $3.9 Billion a Year to Fix the Roads (Detroit News Source, 3/7/23)
Michigan Roads See Funding Gap of Up to $3.9 Billion as Report Floats Tax Increase (Transport Topics, 3/7/23)
Report: Michigan needs $3.9B annually to fix roads (BLOX Digital Content Exchange, 3/7/23)
MIRS 3/7/23: 74-Cent-A-Gallon Gas Tax Hike To Fix The Roads?
Remember the Governor’s 45-cent gas tax hike idea? A report released today suggested raising the state’s 28.6-cent gas tax between 39 cents and 74 cents a gallon to raise the money needed to fill a $3.9 billion annual funding gap to repair all the roads in Michigan.
The Public Sector Consultants report looked at the cost of maintaining Michigan’s roads, future funding needed, road funding estimates, revenue sources, long-term trends in transportation spending and the potential options to raise the money to close the gap.
Other ideas for raising the money includes raising the gas tax on a per-dollar basis as opposed to a per-gallon basis, which would increase the price of gas more as gas becomes more expensive or drop the price of gas as it becomes cheaper; raising the sales tax 2 or 3 percentage points; creating a miles-driven tax of 3 or 5-cents.
“Many of our local streets, at least at the city and village level, are not federally eligible, which is very frustrating to many of our constituency,” said John LaMacchia, state and federal affairs director for the Michigan Municipal League.
He said the municipalities are doing what they can through millage and other funding sources, but it would be more efficient if municipalities could get the money to fix the neighborhood streets.
County Road Association of Michigan Chief Deputy Ed Noyola said the county road commissions have no recourse to raise any money, because they are reliant on the local governments to raise the funds to fix the roads.
He said of the 90,000 miles of road they work with, only 30% are eligible for federal funding from the infrastructure bill passed by the Biden Administration.
“Michigan’s prosperity, competitiveness and quality of life depend on modern, reliable infrastructure,” Michigan Chamber of Commerce President Jim Holcomb said.
The report stated that Michigan needed to invest an additional $2.2 billion each year to meet the goals for state road and bridge quality. However, the Infrastructure and Jobs Act from the federal government has added funding beyond that amount.
“There will be a day coming in the not-too-distant future when those funds will dry up, but our need will only continue to grow,” said Rob Coppersmith, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association executive vice president.
The PSC report stated that officials should find a way to increase revenue and find a way to replace the revenue that could be lost as more electric vehicles hit the streets.
“I would hope that funding would look like a blanket approach for the state of Michigan,” said Brad Williams, vice president of government relations at the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The group proposed several tax increases that could be used to make up the funding gap, including adding to the state or local sales tax, gas taxes, and tolls.
“We’re probably at a point where there’s not a silver-bullet solution here,” Coppersmith said.
This is just the beginning of a very large undertaking that will take public and legislative support. So please pitch in and help where you can. If you have any questions, please contact Rob Coppersmith, Executive Vice President of MITA, at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Lance Binoniemi, MITA’S Vice President of Government Affairs, at email@example.com.