New legislation has been introduced in the Michigan House that would pump more money into local road repairs without adding to debt or raising taxes.
Rep. Sarah Lightner (R-Springport), in reviewing the initial language of the legislation, said that the measure calls for ensuring all state taxes paid at the gas pump go to fixing roads, with a priority on roads managed by local municipalities such as counties, cities and villages. The bill package would phase out the 6 percent sales tax drivers already pay on fuel purchases, and replace it with an equivalent fuel tax – at no increase in cost to the consumer – generating approximately $800 million more per year that would be dedicated specifically to local roads.
The legislation includes protections to ensure school funding is not harmed in any way. Sales tax revenue lost through the change would be fully replaced.
“The governor’s expensive road financing strategy – which will cost taxpayers billions over the life of the plan – is focused only on interstates and highways. It doesn’t help some areas of Michigan at all – and it completely ignores the county and local roads we take to get to the highway,” Lightner said. “Everywhere I go, people tell me they want to know the taxes they’re paying at the pump actually go to fix the roads they drive on every day. This is a simple and effective starting point for our road funding conversation, and I am optimistic that this concept could develop into sound policy for Michigan.”
The bills were formally read into the Michigan House record today.