Michigan Roads Deserve Diverted Road Dollars: Transportation groups demand refund of diverted funds in light of budget surplus
Transportation groups are demanding that the millions of dollars that were shifted out of the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF) only to be diverted to the General Fund – a fund that has a budget surplus of $259.1 million – be returned to fix the state’s crumbling infrastructure.
The MTF took several cuts in FY07, including $5 million shifted out of the Comprehensive Transportation Fund (CTF) and $6 million from the Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF), all if which were redirected to the General Fund.
“At a time when Michigan needs economic development, we are robbing transportation dollars to fund other departments, only to end up with a budget surplus,” said Mike Nystrom, vice-president of government and public relations for Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) and co-chair of Michigan’s Transportation Team. “ It makes absolutely no sense. It hurts the taxpayers of Michigan and business owners who depend on a safe and efficient transportation system – a system that is in dire need of funding.”
Currently, FY08 paints an even more dismal picture for Michigan’s deteriorating roads. The MTF will lose another $5 million from the CTF and $13 million from the TEDF to once again line the General Fund’s pockets.
“Michigan legislators need to wake up and realize our transportation system needs funding now,” said Nystrom. “ This is a critical issue for our state, and legislators need to stop using the MTF to fill other gaps, especially not to create a surplus.”
MITA represents a broad spectrum of underground and highway construction companies and suppliers that help build a better Michigan infrastructure from the bottom up. It has been a leading voice for securing adequate transportation funding at the federal and state levels.