From Booth Newspapers
The package proposed Tuesday by a coalition of business, labor and government groups represents one of the biggest tax hikes in recent Michigan history. Its fate could be tied to an overall package of budget cuts and tax increases Gov. Jennifer Granholm and lawmakers have been wrestling over for weeks.
The road measures would:
Raise the 19-cents-per-gallon state gas tax to 22 cents when the bill is passed. Two additional annual increases of 3 cents per gallon would follow, taking the rate up to 28 cents a gallon in 2009.
Boost the 15-cents-per-gallon tax on diesel fuel to 28 cents over three years.
Hike annual vehicle registration fees by 50 percent. The current $103 fee on a vehicle worth $20,000 would jump to $155. Registration fees, moreover, would automatically grow each year by the inflation rate.
The package represents the first tax hike since 2004's cigarette tax increase to garner Republican support. Rep. Craig DeRoche of Novi, the GOP leader in the House, said new local road and state highway funding is critical to the state's struggling economy.
A "key component to turning the economy around in Michigan is the infrastructure.," said DeRoche, arguing that other states that have invested in roads and infrastructure are winning the battle for jobs.
50% increase in registration fees as well? That's another tax. Here's the thing. We have regular sales tax on gasoline, the regular gas tax, as well as some of the higher gas prices in the country year in and year out. Why the hell aren't we working with what we have for the roads?
Secondly, government's "creative accounting" has shown that it is not trustworthy with our money to begin with. How do we know this so called "road money" won't be tossed into the general fund. Remember the promises for the lottery?
I am real sick and tired of governments fouling up the budget and then demanding us taxpayers bail them out. That goes for individuals in both parties.