Whitmer says hers is only serious roads plan | Michigan Radio

Whitmer says hers is only serious roads plan

Jun 20, 2019

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.

Read more: The best and worst roads in Michigan

“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.