State chamber pushes for user fees to fund road plan

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce said it doesn't support a plan to turn solely to a ballot proposal to fix the state's billion-dollar road funding problem.
AP Wire
Feb 3, 2013


President and CEO Rich Studley said Friday that legislators should first act to put a plan in place before turning to voters.

A proposal introduced in the Michigan Senate would amend the state Constitution to raise the 6 percent sales tax to 8 percent and eliminate state fuel taxes.

Studley said the ballot proposal would delay action.

The state Chamber of Commerce plans to push a plan funded primarily by user fees such as shifting the gas tax to a percentage of the wholesale price of fuel and raising vehicle registration fees.

Raising more money for roads is one of the business group's top priorities this year.



I disagree with the plan to raise the sales tax in exchange for eliminating the fuel tax because the fuel tax will come back when the Government needs more money. The sales tax will never go down.


Sounds like business as usual - instead of eliminating government waste, such as requiring competitive bidding for transportation projects instead of requiring bidders to pay "prevailing wages" (union scale), and awarding contracts to the low responsive and responsible bidder, the politicians want to amend the constitution to raise the sales tax and allegedly eliminate the gas tax. In other words, ensure that everyone pay their fair share by taxing wheelchair bound grandma and grandpa when they purchase bedroom slippers, when they don't even use the roads - making the roads the equivalent of public education. And yes, this would give the Lansing spendthrifts a lot more of our money to waste.

Although the gas tax and user fees are supposed to support maintenance of the roads, apparently the politicians think this is no longer a smart way to pay for road projects - they would rather pay for them out of general revenues through increased general sales tax. I'll add to their idea - I suggest two alternative ballot initiatives be presented to the voters: (a) require the government to reduce it's expenditures 3% per year across the board until the gas tax can support necessary road repairs, or (b) raise the state sales tax by 2%, provided that there can be no gas tax in the future. If Michigan voters are as dumb as California voters, they will choose option (b) and no one will be able to complain about higher sales taxes.

There, I fixed it.


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