Now that the much-debated income tax and sales tax on services are in place, the Legislature and governor are quickly working to finalize the FY 2008 budget by the October 31st deadline.
Because the Transportation budget is based off gas tax and vehicle registration revenues, there is little discretion in terms of overall spending. However, MITA has been lobbying hard to:
Get rid of the utility relocation reimbursement amendment added in the House which could cost as much as $44 million. MDOT and the Federal Highway Administration have indicated that there is no money available nor is there any proposed money for such a program.
Preserve the proposed $13 million cut from the Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF).
Adopt cost allocation language created by Rep. Gonzales, CRAM and MITA to help protect road money from being diverted to other state agencies. MITA has received word in the last few days that the conference committee will be supporting this language.
Approve compromise language allowing the state to use comparable data from other states for equivalent designs when no such information is available in Michigan.
In terms of the Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) budget, MITA anticipates that the state revolving fund programs will again not receive the full general fund state match appropriation, despite MITA’s testimony to the appropriations subcommittee earlier in the year. Although this should not impact the state’s ability to fully capture federal grants in FY 08, the loss of state match funding reduces the lending capacity of the funds both now and in the future.
If you have any questions please contact Mike Nystrom, Vice President of Government and Public Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Keith Ledbetter, Director of Legislative Affairs at email@example.com; or by calling the MITA office at (517) 347-8336.