LANSING – Legislation sponsored by Sen. John Proos to help the state fix and maintain its roads and highways is on its way to the governor to be signed into law.
“This reform will help us maximize our ability to fix Michigan roads with the resources already available – and without raising taxes,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Nearly every year since I began public service, Michigan has struggled to identify enough state dollars to qualify for federal matching transportation funds. My bill solves this problem for next fiscal year by using $100 million in funds already paid by consumers at the pump and investing them in our roads.”
Senate Bill 351 requires some gasoline and diesel sales tax revenue that is not already constitutionally directed to be used only for building and maintaining state roads and bridges.
“Southwest Michigan families and job providers are keenly aware of the difference between the condition of our roads and those of our neighboring states,” Proos said. “We understand that having adequate funding for roads and bridges is about ensuring the safety of everyone on our roads, protecting drivers from potholes and costly car repairs, and competing for jobs in an economy increasingly dependent on the efficient transportation of goods.
“Also, thousands of people in Southwest Michigan and throughout our state depend on tourism for their livelihoods. We want out-of-state visitors to return home touting their wonderful vacation, not the potholes in our roads.”
Motor fuel in Michigan is currently taxed in three ways. The first two means are the federal and state per-gallon fuel taxes. Revenue from both of these taxes is restricted to transportation.
The third method is applying the state’s 6 percent sales tax to the fuel wholesale price. More than 80 percent of this revenue is constitutionally earmarked, and the remaining dollars go to the state General Fund to be used as necessary. Proos’ bill would direct $100 million of those additional funds to the State Trunkline Fund, used to generate federal transportation matching funds.
“Any money remaining after the federal match requirement is met will go to local transportation agencies,” Proos said. “With a federal matching rate of roughly 4 to 1, this reform will mean more than $400 million in road funding.”
Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos are available on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Podcasts.”