Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s still waiting to see a practical alternative to her proposal to increase the gas tax to pay for road improvements. She told a small business convention that Michigan has delayed tough choices for decades – and the result is roads and bridges ranked among the worst in the country.
Whitmer has called for a 45-cent-per-gallon increase in the fuel tax. She says past governors and legislators have moved money around without actually increasing funding for roads and bridges.
“In Michigan, for the last 40 years, we’ve been playing a bit of a shell game," Whitmer said. "Our transportation funding never was designed to keep up with need in terms of rebuilding and maintaining our infrastructure.”
The governor says a plan by Republicans to divert the sales tax on fuel to roads would mean an unacceptable cut to school funding. Republican leaders insist there are still better alternatives than a big increase in fuel taxes.
“We know we’re all paying a price for not getting this right, and government has had to find the resources to triage a crisis in our infrastructure, and that’s exactly what’s been happening here," said Whitmer.