Legislation protects school funding; helps roads across the state
State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, of Manton, today supported newly unveiled legislation that will fix a gigantic problem in Michigan’s current road funding formula, generate an extra $800 million for roads without new taxes and dedicate the money solely to local roads which lost out in the governor’s recent borrowing scheme.
The bills call for ensuring all state taxes paid at the gas pump go to fixing roads, with a priority on roads managed by local municipalities such as counties, cities and villages. The measures would phase out the 6 percent sales tax drivers already pay on fuel purchases over a three-year period, and replace it with an equivalent revenue-neutral fuel tax – generating approximately $800 million more per year for local roads.
The measures also fill in the sizeable gap left from the governor’s recent decision to bond for $3.5 billion for state-owned highways in upcoming years. That proposal only can address around 9,600 miles out of 120,000 total in the state, and ignores driveway to highway roads people use frequently for a variety of everyday needs.
“The statistics show that while state highways are in need of repairs, local roads need it more,” Hoitenga said. “And these bills will put funding toward a much higher percentage of our state’s roads.”
Hoitenga’s commitment to increasing investments in Michigan schools and students will not be impacted by the new legislation. Built-in safeguards ensure those investments continue and schools are held harmless, as sales tax revenue currently dedicated to schools from fuel purchases would be fully replaced.
“We must continue to support the resources our future generations need to succeed and that starts in the classroom,” Hoitenga said. “That element was a pivotal part of this legislation and its flexibility in being able to adequately fund our roads and schools is why it has my support.”
House Bills 5582-87 have been referred to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.
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