State Rep. Shane Hernandez, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, today issued the following statement in response to recent comments made by Michigan Department of Transportation Director Paul Ajegba on the need for a new 80-cent per gallon gas tax on Michigan drivers:
“First Gov. Whitmer laughed at the idea of a 20-cent per gallon gas tax hike. Then she proposed a 45-cent gas tax hike. Later she cut hundreds of millions of road dollars out of the budget because it didn’t come from a tax hike. And now the secret is out that her administration actually wants a ridiculous 80-cent per gallon gas tax hike. Michigan families are not a bottomless pit of money, and they simply cannot afford to have their monthly budgets toyed with by out of touch bureaucrats who cannot make up their mind and who are unwilling to listen to other ideas.
“Gov. Whitmer needs to actually listen to what the people of Michigan are telling her about her reckless, nation-high gas tax and come to grips with reality. This isn’t going to happen, because the people of Michigan don’t want it and cannot afford it. We need her to start respecting Michigan’s hard-working taxpayers and either propose something realistic or jump on board with leaders who will. House Republicans recently passed a budget that increased funding for critical road and bridge repair work to all-time record highs without raising taxes one cent. It can be done, and we proved it.
“I’ve been saying since the very beginning that no tax increase would ever be enough. The day you pass a 45-cent gas tax increase is the day they’ll come back and say they want more. At least they are hopefully being honest with us now about how much they want from the taxpayers with this 80-cent gas tax proposal.”