Tax And Fee Increase To Fix Roads A Tough Sell For Some

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

Loreen Desilets Doesn't think too highly of Michigan's roads.

"The minute you hit that Michigan line, you could be sound asleep in your car and you know you've hit Michigan roads," said Desilets.

But she thinks even less of raising taxes and fees to help fix them.

"I think it's going to cost the average person a lot," said Desilets.

Governor Rick Snyder, however, says it's necessary if the state is going to keep its roads from getting even worse.

His budget proposal calls for raising $1.2 billion in transportation funding by increasing the gas tax from 19 cents to 33 cents per gallon...and through a 60 percent increase in vehicle registration fees.

That number surprises Rebecca Lane, who says she would be willing to pay a higher fee to help with roads.

"If it went up a little bit to help with that, it's fair, but 60 percent seems like a lot," said Lane.

Alex Rosaen, of Anderson Economic Group, says although the increases may seem steep, they make sense and will help improve roads long term.

"You show that you use the roads by having a vehicle. The registration fee helps you chip in to maintain the roads that you're using," said Rosaen, the Director of Public Policy and Economic Analysis at Anderson. "The gas tax makes sense because the more you drive, the more fuel you use. The more you drive, the more you benefit from the roads. These are our existing, agreed upon ways of funding our roads."

But these increases have to passed by the legislature, first. Bill Ballenger, of Inside Michigan Politics, says that's where the Governor could have trouble.

"Republicans don't like to raise taxes," said Ballenger. "He's gotta get votes, I think, from Democrats in the minority to make this pass because I think he's got a lot of members from his own party who are going to resist this."

To get his proposal passed, Governor Snyder needs 56 votes in the House, where Republicans have 59 seats. He also needs 19 votes in the Senate, where Republicans hold 22 seats.

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  • by Name Location: Location on Feb 14, 2013 at 04:27 AM
    How about Stabinow and Levin bring home the bacon, rather than eating it!?!?!? 51% of the uninformed!?!?!?
  • by Name Location: Location on Feb 8, 2013 at 10:49 AM
    I thought that only Democrats wanted to raise taxes? That's so weird. It's almost as if you can't predict what a person is going to do based solely on their political affiliation, and that most politicians lie. Hmm...
  • by Brian Location: Hillsdale on Feb 8, 2013 at 10:48 AM
    Thankfully I live near the borders of Ohio and Indiana. I will be bootlegging gasoline and spending my vacation time not in Pure Michigan. Maybe the rise in fuel cost will persuade others to do the same. V-Not everyone live and work in the same town and can get away with 20 gallons of gas a week. People have been forced by the economy to take jobs further from home sometimes often for less pay. Your looking at $18.33 a week times two(about $150 a month). We drive almost 30 miles a day to work with two vehicles. Not counting sporting events for the kids,doctors appointments,shopping,and family get-togethers. So, should I feel like I own the road more than you?
  • by BJ Location: Lansing on Feb 8, 2013 at 08:32 AM
    For starters I am 'the working class' and I can tell you that this increase of vehicle registration is going to break my household. We are already struggling more than we ever have in our entire lives, each year we have to figure out a way to pay our registrations as it is. My husband works 12 hour days and my daughters school wont pick her up with the bus, so I am responsible for getting her to and from school. Since my husband works 12 hour days, it is necessary for us both to have our own vehicles. Now, as a family who is facing foreclosure and all of thee above already, as Ive said, coming up with the registrations is a struggle on its own, between our two vehicles (both in my husbands name so they have to be paid at the same time) it costs us 200 dollars right now. Now this 'increase' will make it so we have to pay almost 450 dollars just to keep our cars legal, which if we dont want even more fines, is a must. Now tell me... if we can barely pay the fees as they are now, how are we going to pay more than double that? When I get pulled over for expired tags do you really think the cop will let me off with a warning when I tell him we just cant afford the fees but my daughter HAS to get to school??? No! I dont mind the gas tax, because its basically spread out through the year, unlike the fees, which have to be paid all at once. Sorry mr governor... Your plan is ridiculous and outrageous and you need to figure a different way that isnt going to force more people into poverty. Our lovely governor needs to listen to what the people have to say and understand that yes, this MAY fix the road problem, but its going to be offsetting a lot of problems for the michigan residents. I will tell you one thing, the only reason I am still in this state is because this is where my family is, and family is everything to me. But I have never in my life contemplated moving out of state this much.. that should tell you something!
  • by Sue Location: Lansing on Feb 8, 2013 at 06:57 AM
    I assume the state shortage is because the people are making less money to pay taxes on. Does it make sense to increase their expenses when they are already making less and having to spend more on everything from food & gas to insurance, etc. How does this solve any problem? It seems to me the few making the decisions have not been impacted by lower pay and benefits, maybe that's the cure.
  • by V Location: GL on Feb 8, 2013 at 05:57 AM
    Better the gas tax and registration fees than the sales tax. People can choose to drive/own a car, but you have to buy things. If you drive more you pay more of the share, and that seems fair. I see everybody is already out for blood on this. I look at it this way I have a 20 gallon tank and my reg. fee last year was $124. If I use 20 gal. a week at a 14 cent increase in gas tax thats only $2.80/week. or $145.60/year. add to that an increase of $74.40 for my reg fee. That is a yearly increase of $220.00/year or $18.33/month. Cut out three trips to Big B or a case beer, and you've made it up. Yes, other areas should be looked at whether it be cuts in other areas or increases in other areas. The fact of the matter is that increases anywhere will eventually mean increases to the end consumer (you and me). Cuts in most areas will mean decreased public service, safety, educations, and cash benefits. At least with this, it is something that is voluntary.
  • by Bob Location: MI on Feb 8, 2013 at 05:19 AM
    Let's see, gas is up 200% over the past 4 years, my house is worth less than I owe, food is up, energy is up, our King wants to raise our federal taxes, I have not seen a raise in 4 years. Yup, makes sense to me, raise my registrations 60% and my gas tax 100%. What is Snyder smoking? Get the country and state on solid ground before raising any more tax rates. Use your "emergency fund" that is just sitting there. The roads need to be fixed. How's that for an emergency? Stop trying to bleed us out. Most of us are just barely hanging on, living paycheck to paycheck and praying the economy comes back and our Governor wants to put his hands in our pockets? Meanwhile our auto insurance is about the highest in the nation and many people don't even have insurance causing those of us that do to pay ever increasing premiums. Hey guys, do your job in Lansing and live within your means like we have to.I know the low hanging fruit is always to take more but that is not the answer at the moment, believe me! I would not mind paying a little more to help but these increases are just rediculous!
  • by JRH Location: Owosso on Feb 8, 2013 at 03:45 AM
    raise raise raise never cut cut cut............
  • by Anonymous on Feb 8, 2013 at 03:01 AM
    Michigan has the highest load limits in the U.S. Heavy loads cause most of the destruction on these roads. First he taxes pensions to give business a break(business always covers it with something called overhead),then he does right to work, now he wants the working man to pay more taxes and increased registration fees. This "nerd" wouldn't know a hard days work if it hit him on his backside where his brains seem to be residing as of late. When he took over Gateway as CEO, it traded at about $85 a share. 2yrs. later it was in the $4 range. Mi. is coming back, not because of him, but, in spite of him!
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