Could Tolls Be the Answer to Save Michigan Roads?

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

"I don't think you'll ever find a voter out there who jumps up and down and says 'Please charge me more, take more in tax dollars to fund a government project,' but infrastructure is a crucial element of the governments operation and we need to make sure we are investing in Michigan," said Holcomb.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce says toll roads should be part of the solution to save Michigan's bad roads.

"If we don't spend money now, just on general maintenance and up-keep, those roads deteriorate and it costs us six times more to fix them later on," said Jim Holcomb, the Chamber's Senior Vice President.

The Chamber does not think tolls are a silver bullet. Since increasing the gas tax and license plate registration fees haven't garnished support, though, more options like tolls should be considered.

"I don't think you'll ever find a voter out there who jumps up and down and says 'Please charge me more, take more in tax dollars to fund a government project,' but infrastructure is a crucial element of the governments operation and we need to make sure we are investing in Michigan," said Holcomb.

Thursday morning Governor Snyder said he is backing away from his comprehensive plan to fix the roads. Instead he told the Associated Press that he wants to at least shift the gas tax from cents per gallon to a percentage of the wholesale price. The Governor says the switch would be a revenue neutral transition, and while it would not bring in any additional money at the on-set it would save the state from having further problems down the road. That's because as gas prices rise with inflation, if it were taxed by the wholesale price, the tax revenue would also increase.

Coming up tonight on News Ten at 5 p.m. we'll look at whether toll roads should take more of center stage in the road improvements debate and find out how MDOT plans to use any additional money it receives.


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