How Much is Legislative Inaction on Road Funding Costing Us?
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Posted by: Nancy Brown
Okemos, Mich. – Today the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) released a calculator that tallies how much legislative inaction on road funding is costing Michigan taxpayers. The calculator demonstrates the cost per second of inaction by the Michigan Legislature starting on June 12, when they left on summer break. It is based on data from a recent Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council report. The report shows that Michigan has lost an estimated $10 billion in road asset value since 2004, because inadequate investment in roads has caused more roads to slip from fair to poor condition, making them more expensive to repair.
“As of this morning, the cost of legislative inaction on road funding totaled $269 million,” said Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of MITA. “As each day passes, that figure climbs by $2.7 million, or $1 billion per year. Faced with that cost of delay, Michigan’s legislators must find a way to invest at least $2 billion more annually on roads, or the public will continue to bear the brunt of their inaction. As legislators continue to put off road funding, the cost of repairs will escalate even further. It is a major funding dilemma that will only get worse over time.”
Soon after legislators delayed approving increased transportation investment and went on summer break, Nystrom added, taxpayers in many municipalities went to the polls in August and overwhelmingly approved local ballot initiatives to help pay for better roads. But much more state funding is still needed.
“So the argument that taxpayers are not willing to pay for better roads does not stand up,” Nystrom said. “The driving public in Michigan deserves better and expects their elected officials to make the tough decisions they were elected to make and fix our roads now, rather than costing taxpayers even more down the road.”
MITA is a leading voice in the efforts to increase state infrastructure funding, and represents a broad spectrum of heavy construction companies and suppliers that help build a better Michigan from the ground up. For more information, visit www.mi-ita.com or www.justfixtheroads.com.