Mich. road bills would raise gas tax, vehicle fee - FOX 35 News Orlando

Mich. road bills would raise gas tax, vehicle fee

Posted: Updated:
Sen. Randy Richardville (Credit: Fox 2 News) Sen. Randy Richardville (Credit: Fox 2 News)
LANSING, Mich. (AP) -

Republicans on Wednesday proposed a two-pronged approach to raising an extra $1.6 billion a year to patch up Michigan's ailing roads, with voters possibly getting to pick an alternative if they oppose the mix of higher gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees under consideration.
 
No consensus is emerging yet on how -- or if -- lawmakers will agree to pump more into transportation funding as called for by Gov. Rick Snyder. But a six-measure package introduced in the Senate is a starting point and includes details that weren't in the Republican governor's State of the State address two weeks ago.
 
The legislation would replace the state tax on fuels paid at the pump with a levy at the wholesale level passed along to motorists.
 
The gasoline tax would nearly double, from 19 cents a gallon to an equivalent wholesale tax of 37 cents per gallon, which could rise or fall no more than one penny each year, up to a ceiling of 50 cents. The per-gallon diesel tax would more than double from 15 cents to the equivalent of 37 cents a gallon, said Sen. Roger Kahn, a Saginaw Republican.
 
Registration fees for cars and pickup trucks, which vary because they're based on vehicles' value but average $100 a year, would rise 80 percent. Commercial trucks and tractors would pay 45 percent more.
 
"It's certainly not soup yet. It's just the beginning of the process," Kahn said, anticipating joint hearings with the House.
 
Also introduced Wednesday was a constitutional amendment to raise the 6 percent sales tax to 8 percent and use most of the extra money for roads and bridges -- coupled with eliminating state fuel taxes altogether.
 
"They could be married together," Kahn said of the two plans. "You could pass the one and if (voters) don't pass the sales tax, then (higher fuel taxes and fees) would stay in place."
 
If legislators agree to put a proposal before voters, the election may be held in May because Senate leaders want to act before the summer construction season.
 
"Let's not drag it out because it's been dragged out over a couple decades already," said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, a Monroe Republican.
 
If the sales tax idea gains momentum, lawmakers would have until early March to put it on the statewide ballot. It would need two-thirds support from both the GOP-controlled House and Senate.
 
House Speaker Jase Bolger told The Associated Press Wednesday that a number of road-funding plans are being discussed and he's not getting behind one in particular until legislators make sure money for roads can't be squeezed from elsewhere in the state budget. Of the ballot measure, the Marshall Republican said: "I'm not rejecting anything, but that's not where I start.  I think the voters have elected us to solve problems and I think they are counting on us to solve problems."
 
The Senate plan doesn't include Snyder's suggestion to let local governments increase motor vehicle registration fees even further to raise money for fixing local roads, though it could appear later. The switch to a wholesale tax and higher registration fees -- or "user fees" -- are consistent with what Snyder wants.
 
State Transportation Department spokesman Jeff Cranson said the governor also is open to the sales tax route.
 
"He just wants to fill the gap. He thinks there's a major need in filling a gap in the way our transportation system is funded right now and wants to see it fixed," Cranson said.
 
A bipartisan legislative report last year said the state needs to spend an extra $1.5 billion a year to adequately maintain the transportation system. As vehicles become more efficient, people are buying less gas -- a problem because the per-gallon gas tax has not gone up in 15 years.
 
Snyder and lawmakers last year took $119 million from the general fund to ensure Michigan got all the federal transportation dollars for which it was eligible.
 
------
 
Associated Press writer Alanna Durkin in Lansing contributed to this report.
 
------
 
Email David Eggert at deggert(at)ap.org and follow him at http://twitter.com/DavidEggert00

------

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:55 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:55:10 GMT
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
  • Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:33:46 GMT
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
  • Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:27:05 GMT
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices