Senate adjourns with no vote on gasoline tax hike

The Republican-led Michigan Senate has adjourned without voting on whether to more than double the state's gasoline tax to improve roads.
AP Wire
Jun 3, 2014

Senators met for a rare Monday session and talked behind closed doors about a plan to gradually increase the 19-cents-a-gallon gas tax to 43 cents by 2018, assuming prices stay flat.

The tax is part of a plan to raise $1.5 billion more per year for roads.

It's the third-straight voting day that senators haven't voted since they amended a House road-funding plan May 21. Lawmakers may adjourn next week for the summer.

Some Republican senators opposing the gas tax hike prefer asking voters to increase Michigan's sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, dedicating the extra revenue to roads. That would require approval from two-thirds of state lawmakers.

Comments

16damons

Instead of a laptop computer for every 7th grade student, try using chalkboards again and use some of that lottery money for the roads. As a lifelong Michigan resident, I have seen no appreciation of student IQ's while schools have been afforded these funds. Smoke and mirrors. Every piece of paper or email that is passed... is taxpayer money. Everyone who reads... let alone touches the memo gets paid. Just as the state likes it. If work slows, make work. Too many people and happy fingers on the state payroll... doing nothing.

Lanivan

Should Republican legislators approve the doubling of the gas tax, it would land Michigan in the unenviable position of having the highest gas tax in the US. This in a state that not too long ago held the position of one of the highest unemployment rates in the US; was the home state of one of the most potentially devastating liquidation bankruptcies in US history - GM, the largest auto maker in the world; and is currently struggling with the largest public city bankruptcy in the US - Detroit.

Meanwhile, just a few years ago, Republican legislators implemented new tax changes that cut business income tax revenues by 83 percent and increased individual taxes by 23 percent. The new tax package adopted by Gov. Rick Snyder and the legislature that took effect in 2012, resulted in Michigan’s business taxes being reduced by $1.6 billion, while individual income taxes increased by $1.4 billion.

How about the Republican legislators develop this plan: Increase the Corporate Tax Rate - which cut in half corporate revenues when implemented in 2012 - from the new, low (one of the lowest in the US) 6%, to, say, 6.50% for five years. Then raise the gas tax, say, 25%, instead of doubling it. And then raise the Michigan sales tax to, say, 6.25%, instead of the proposed huge jump to 7% - again, a big increase in sales taxes, making it one of the highest in the US.

Wouldn't this make sense - spreading out the sacrifice among all segments of Michigan residents for the betterment of infrastructure that we all use?

Tri-cities realist

Or how about finding innovative ways to be more efficient with the dollars they have, ya know, kind of like those of us in the private sector have been doing. Why is the answer always to raise taxes, regardless of which "group" (individuals, business, drivers, etc.) is targeted? I'm all for good roads, but with one of the highest gas taxes in the country, our roads should be in better condition than they are.

Lanivan

Yes - a combination of innovation, creative ways to be more efficient, and a more well-rounded balance of revenue increases, if need be, would be the task at hand in most businesses. You know - problem-solving! But that takes real work and effort, not just political posturing.....

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