Road Funding a Big Topic at Michigan Policy Conference
There’s no disagreement that something needs to be done to fix Michigan roads, but some are concerned that average motorists are being forced to bear the brunt of the cost. A proposal, though, being discussed this week on Mackinac Island, could shift that burden a bit.
MLive.com is reporting today that Governor Rick Snyder is urging business leaders to back a plan that would require increased fees for overweight and oversized trucks in Michigan.
The argument is that those heavier trucks take more of a toll on roadways than passenger vehicles and trucks and that they should pay for the damage they create. Michigan has the highest weight limit for trucks in the nation. There are some stipulations, though, of an axle requirement to spread the weight out more.
“It’s not totally clear how much damage they do, but I think the general public perceives that it is a real issue,” Synder said during an address at the Mackinac Policy Conference.
A proposal under consideration in the State House would double permit fees for large loads. The Senate has not yet gotten on board with the idea, though.
Other proposals under consideration to raise the estimated $1.3 billion Synder said is needed for the road fix could hike the gas tax to 40-cents a gallon or beyond. It would be phased-in over time.
While surveys show that people are willing to pay more for road improvements, they are only willing to dish out what they consider a “reasonable” amount. Many also want guarantees that the money raised through the gas tax will be earmarked specifically for roads and nothing else.
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