Proposals to Fix Roads Move Full Speed Ahead
Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says he's heard from residents in Michigan that they want the roads fixed and fast! But plans to raise money to that end could run into some opposition.
MLive.com is reporting that members of the Michigan Senate will begin discussing today a plan to boost long-term road funding by as much as a billion and a half dollars. The ideas is to phase-in a higher gasoline tax to lessen the impact on residents.
"We're not going to hit people all at once, but I've heard the message lous and clear that the roads are messed up," Richardville said.
He also says if there are going to be changes made, they should be to fix the problem completely ,not to simply kick the can down the road.
Discussion today could advance a number of proposals to the Senate floor for consideration.
A House passed bill would replace Michigan's fuel taxes with one caculated on the average wholesale price. It would be calculated each year and would likely fluctuate. Prices would hike immediately on diesel fuel but it could take a while before the cost of unleaded fuel rises, according to the report.
Another proposal in the House would guarantee that money collected at the pump would be used for roads and roads only. A Senate version would include public transit along with roads.
Yet another idea would increase registration-type fees and eliminate reductions given to motorists in the first three years they own a vehicle.
And another proposal would ask fuel suppliers to kick in as well with a percentage of their profits.
Richardville will only say at this time, that he will propose "further enchancements" but declined to give even a hint to what they would be.
Those with the Michigan Petroleum Association take issue with at least on of the plans. "This idea that somewhow changing to a percent of the wholesale price will solve future funding problems, frankly, is untrue," said Mark Griff .
Motorists in the state are already paying some of the highest gas prices in the country, and despite recent surveys that show the majority of voters would accept paying more--if the cost is reasonable--many are still pushing back on whether hitting consumers with more taxes is the way to get the job done.
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