State House leaders try to cobble together Republican votes for road funding plan
GOP leaders in the state House are working to assemble enough Republican votes to pass a road funding plan that’s likely to raise taxes.
House Republicans met on Tuesday to review a Senate-approved plan that raises the state’s gas tax by 15 cents over three years. It also includes a possible rollback in the state’s income tax rate – but that depends on growth in revenues to the state’s General Fund.
State House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, says they’re likely to win more Republican support if the plan guarantees an income tax cut.
“I think that would provide more comfort if at least a portion of it were guaranteed,” Cotter told reporters Tuesday morning.
Cotter says he’s open to a gas tax increase – but the Senate proposal is a bit steep for his Republican colleagues.
“I could see a smaller version of the gasoline tax increase – it could be part of the end plan,” he said. “I know there’s not a lot of excitement for a 15-cent gasoline tax increase.”
Meanwhile, House Democrats unveiled their own $1.2 billion plan to boost road funding. It would raise taxes on corporations by about $1 billion.
“It protects those middle class people, those people that have been giving a lot of their dollars and resources to the state over the last four years,” said state Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing.
“And it provides a balanced playing field so everyone is investing in the future of Michigan’s economy.”
It appears Republican leaders are not seeking Democratic help to pass any plan to boost road funding.