Michigan governor urges state lawmakers to support tax to fix roads, bridges

Gov. Rick Snyder is calling on Michigan lawmakers to support a new tax to repair the state’s crumbling infrastructure, saying Monday that it’s necessary to save lives and spur job growth.

Snyder outlined his plan to raise $1.2 billion annually for local and state repairs of roads and bridges during a meeting with Southeast Michigan community leaders.

“The message from every corner of our state is clear,” Snyder said. “It’s time to fix the roads. Michiganders are tired of dodging potholes, whether it’s on the highway or in their neighborhoods. They’re fed up with getting socked with auto repair bills because Lansing has ignored the problem for too long.”

A bill has passed the state Senate, but faces stiff opposition from anti-tax supporters in the state House of Representatives. Michigan’s gas tax hasn’t changed since 1997, when it increased from 15 to 19 cents per gallon.

Snyder’s plan would eliminate the 19 cents-per-gallon tax at the pump and instead charge a tax on gasoline wholesalers that would roughly double the overall tax. Sixty percent of the increased tax would go to counties, cities and villages for repairs to their roads and bridges – an estimated 73 percent increase over current state funding.

“There’s a time for discussion and a time for action,” Snyder said. “After nearly 20 years of discussion in Lansing, taxpayers deserve action. There’s no getting around it. The bill will only get bigger the longer we wait. We can pay today or pay twice as much tomorrow. It’s time for Lansing to step up so Michigan can keep moving forward.”