Lansing —More of the 6 percent sales tax charged at the gas pump would go to roads under a bill passed Tuesday by the Senate.
The bill redistributes to roads about $135 million that goes into the state's general fund annually.
Under the state constitution, 60 percent of the first four cents collected under the sales tax goes to schools, and 15 percent goes to revenue sharing with counties and municipalities. Under the bill passed 26-11 Tuesday, the remainder would be earmarked for the State Trunkline Fund — which funds the Michigan Department of Transportation's state road program — instead of the general fund.
Proposal A earmarks the last two cents for the state School Aid Fund.
"They are taking that portion that is not constitutionally dedicated and redistributing from the general fund to roads and bridges," said Lance Binoniemi, spokesman for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. "This doesn't raise any taxes, this doesn't take away from schools or revenue sharing, it just redistributes funds from the general fund to roads and bridges."
Binoniemi said the bill is a start but falls short of the $1.4 billion annually Gov. Rick Snyder says is needed to maintain Michigan roads in their current condition.
"We're encouraged by any increases to transportation funding in Michigan, and we certainly are appreciative of the Senate taking up this bill, but we think it's a small portion towards a bigger goal," Binoniemi said.
The bill heads to the state House for approval, and would also have to be signed by Snyder to become law.