Bollin Backs New $800 Million Plan To Fix Michigan Roads
March 5, 2020
A new plan has been put forward by lawmakers that they say would dedicate $800 (m) million more to local road repairs without raising taxes.
Five bi-partisan bills were introduced that would eliminate the sales tax on fuel and replace it with an equivalent, revenue-neutral tax on fuel dedicated solely to roads. Those are HB’s 5582-85 and 5587-88. The proposal was referred to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.
Republican State Representative Ann Bollin of Brighton Township says she supports the proposed reforms that would dedicate roughly $800 (m) million more per year to road repairs without raising taxes. A press release states the legislation includes strict protections to ensure schools are not hurt from the change and it requires the State Treasury to backfill any loss of revenue to the school aid fund with income tax revenue. Bollin says the legislation delivers a much-needed boost to local roads in communities that won’t benefit from the governor’s bonding plan. Bollin commented that “People expect every penny in taxes paid at the gas pump to go toward fixing our roads. It’s such a common-sense idea. People are always surprised to find out it’s not how things work now.” Under the newly proposed legislation, Bollin said all revenue collected by the replacement tax at the gas pump would be dedicated specifically to local road funding – which she says fills a gap left behind in the governor’s plan. Bollin alleges the administration’s proposal will take on $3.5 (b) billion in new one-time debt to be spent on only state-owned roadways, which make up only about 8% of Michigan roads. She argues the proposed revenue-neutral plan will instead result in approximately $800 million annually in additional funding for the other 92% of roads that connect driveways to highways in every corner of the state without harming schools.
Meanwhile, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she’s not going to let Republicans in the Michigan Legislature block her $3.5 (B) billion plan to fund state roadways. The Senate voted along party lines yesterday on bonding reforms aimed at limiting the state’s authority to issue bonds without legislative approval. Whitmer told reporters "The legislature is just figuring out the scope of executive authority, and no surprise, they're trying to take it away, but that's not going to happen. We're going to move forward. We're going to move some dirt this year”.