Rep. Ann Bollin today said the governor’s insistence on a massive gas tax hike is holding up action on a budget plan that would provide record funding for roads and schools without tax increases.
“In June, the Michigan House approved a responsible budget plan that provides more money than ever before to repair our roads and prepare students for the future,” said Bollin, of Brighton Township. “Those plans have been delayed while legislative leaders worked in good faith over the summer to reach a resolution on roads with the governor. Unfortunately, her insistence on a 45-cent per gallon tax increase is holding up final agreement on an overall budget plan that would do a lot of good for Livingston County and the entire state of Michigan.”
Provisions in the Michigan Constitution require action on a state budget before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
Bollin said alternatives that would help the state meet teacher retirement system funding obligations, help local governments and other vital programs have all been discussed. But Gov. Whitmer has not backed off her 45-cent gas tax increase – which would raise Michigan’s fuel tax to the highest in the nation. The increase would cost drivers an additional $6 to $10 with every fill-up. Even House Democrat Leader Christine Greig has said the increase is “extreme.”
The budget proposal approved by the House in June saves money in several state departments while adding more than $800 million a year to road repairs without a tax increase. The proposed plan would redirect the equivalent of the current 6 percent sales tax motorists already pay at the pump to be used exclusively for roads. This comes on top of a roads plan approved in 2015 that isn’t even fully phased in yet, adding to the record support to repair Michigan roads.
The House budget plan boosts the state’s minimum per-pupil foundation grant by $180. Most school districts would get that increase, including every district in Livingston County. Every district in the state would get at least $90 more per student. Overall, the K-12 budget would increase by more than $200 million to top $15 billion.