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Transportation Funding Vital to Michigan's Economic Revival: Poll shows taxpayers want policymakers

Wednesday, March 26, 2008   (0 Comments)
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LANSING — Nearly three-fourths of Michigan taxpayers agreed that fixing and maintaining our roads is vital to reviving Michigan’s economy, according to the results of a recent poll.

The latest MRG Michigan Poll found 74 percent of respondents feel that fixing roads and maintaining a safe and robust transportation system are vital components to attracting jobs and reviving the economy in Michigan. In fact, more than half – 52 percent – of Michigan taxpayers would gladly pay an additional $5 to $10 per month to fix Michigan’s roads and bridges to keep their families safe. The current transportation funding proposal that is pending in the legislature, which includes an increase in the gas tax and registration fees, would cost taxpayers an estimated $5 to $10 per month.

The MRG Poll included 600 registered Michigan male and female voters. Given the sample size and method of random selection, the statistical margin of error can be reliably set at plus or minus 4.1 percent with a 95 percent degree of confidence, according to MRG.

“The results of this poll should send a clear message to lawmakers: Michigan is calling on you to invest the resources necessary to ‘Fix Our Roads Now,’” said Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA). “With Michigan having arguably the worst pothole season in history, our policymakers need to take action and support the vast amount of infrastructure in disrepair.”

A total 64 percent of the poll participants said they would rate the current condition of the roads, streets and bridges in Michigan as bad/poor. In addition, almost three quarters (72 percent) of respondents said they agreed with the statement, “Given the unprecedented acceleration of potholes and crumbling roads and bridges this year, the state should increase funding for Michigan roads and bridges now to address this crisis situation.”

“Numbers don’t lie,” Nystrom added. “Taxpayers are calling on Lansing to make the investments in our infrastructure that we so desperately need.”

Michigan has an annual funding shortfall of $700 million for its state transportation system and a shortfall of more than $2 billion for local roads. This funding pothole is due to massive cuts to the state’s road and bridge program because of declining gas tax revenues. This year alone the state’s road and bridge program dropped by $300 million or 18 percent.

MTT is a broad-based, bi-partisan partnership of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens linked with the common goal of improving Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. The DriveMI campaign is committed to promoting the development and maintenance of a safe, convenient and efficient transportation network that serves the public, private and economic development needs of Michigan. For more information on transportation funding, visit www.drivemi.org.


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