House Committee Explores Need for Gas Tax
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Posted by: Nancy Brown
On Thursday, the House Transportation Committee, chaired by Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor), will hold the second of three hearings to determine whether Michigan needs a gas tax increase to fix the state’s deteriorating road, bridge and transit systems. The committee will hear from previously unlikely allies, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and organized labor, along with the Michigan Transit Association.
“Last week’s testimony grabbed the attention of many, including the legislature and a packed audience, on just how dire the need is for transportation funding,” said Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations at the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association and co-chair of the Michigan Transportation Team (MTT).
“Support from the unique combination of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and organized labor shows what a high priority transportation funding is with regards to economic development and job creation for the future of Michigan.”
The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m., Thursday, March 29 in Room 307 of the House Office Building on Ottawa in Lansing.
The hearings culminate a year-long statewide effort by MTT, which has included statewide road and bridge condition reports, public opinion surveys and focus groups, a Web site, postcards to legislators and most recently a radio and billboard advertising campaign. The overall message of the transportation funding campaign, known as Drive MI, has been “Don’t Forget Our Roads.” The point of the campaign is to remind legislators that there is more work to be done besides the budget and Single Business Tax replacement during this session.
MTT is a broad-based, bi-partisan partnership comprised of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens linked with the common goal of improving Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. The Drive MI 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.