Road Funding to be Debated at Beginning of New Year
Thursday, December 22, 2011
MITA staff has identified House and Senate sponsors for Governor Snyder’s road funding proposal and are readying bills for introduction at the beginning of 2012.
MITA has been working closely with the governor's office to finalize specific legislative language. Although it was originally planned to have bills introduced in the fall, it became apparent from subsequent legislative meetings that the $120 increase in registration fees is not popular amongst skittish legislators.
One concept under discussion is to increase revenues from multiple sources as opposed to a larger registration boost. The Legislature could adopt a smaller increase in registration fees while increasing the percentage tax on the wholesale level by $500 million. In addition, policymakers could eliminate some loopholes in the registration fees as well as put non-dedicated sales tax funds from gasoline purchases towards transportation funding.
Some have argued that an easier way to begin this process of raising the $1.4 billion would be to pass a smaller revenue increase, somewhere between $250 and $300 million, and take incremental steps to get to the $1.4 billion over several years.
MITA is lobbying the governor to make a strong case for infrastructure investment in his State of the State address, scheduled for January 18.
The governor’s October Infrastructure Message called for an additional $1.4 billion a year in increased revenue for roads. The Snyder plan outlined several key components:
- Eliminating the state’s gas tax.
- Instituting a percentage tax based on fuel prices at the wholesale level.
- Eliminating registration loopholes like the three-year 10% reduction on new vehicles.
- Phasing in an increase in vehicle registration fees by $120 per year.
Recent words from the governor as reported by Gongwer News Service:
In the same breath while discussing the many successes Governor Rick Snyder has said Michigan has had in 2011, he looked ahead to 2012 to continue to move forward in reinventing Michigan. One of his top two agenda items is increasing the investment we make on our infrastructure in Michigan; it is clear that he would like to see action done sooner rather than later. In a discussion on infrastructure funding Governor Snyder said “It could make it more challenging because people will be in campaign mode as you get farther and farther and closer to the election….So I would say it's important some of the issues we just talked about get addressed by summertime.“
MITA shares that sentiment and reminds decision makers that the crumbling infrastructure in Michigan will not repair itself and things are only going to get worse. Please feel free to contact Lance Binoniemi at email@example.com or call the MITA office at (517) 347-8336 with any questions or comments.