New Proposal Guarantees Road Funding But at What Cost
Lawmakers say they heard from their constituents that they wanted the roads fixed, but some aren’t real pleased with the ideas being put forward.
There is pushback already to a plan unveilled Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville that would change the state’s per gallon tax to one on the wholesale price of fuel.
MLive.com reports that will bring diesel fuel taxes more in line with unleaded fuel costs, but could add more to the price of gasoline than many are willing to spend.
The State House wanted to multiply the wholesale price by 6%. But those in the Senate are now pushing an increase in the multiplier to 15 and a half percent over a period of four years.
That could raise the current 19-cent-per-gallon tax to more than 40-cents-per-gallon over time.
The money raised, an estimated one and a half billion dollars a year, would be earmarked specifically for roads.
Richardville said the increase will be significant but he added the effort is to draw out the hike over time to ease the pain. “This wouldn’t go into effect until January 1 of next year, so nobody will be paying more taxes this year,” he said.
The Monroe Republican said residents want something done and soon. We just will have made the commitment to fix the roads. Fix the damn roads, I think, is what we need to say here.”
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