Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gas tax increase proposal

This here is enough for me to grab a pitchfork and lead a peasant rebellion. Normally I agree with the state Chamber, but not this time at all.

LANSING -- A gas tax is a job creator, while the service tax is a job killer. So say the interest groups out to hike the one and scrap the other. Despite the pressure, lawmakers are tax averse at the moment.

On Wednesday, a coalition of road builders, union leaders, local governments and general business groups renewed their push for a $1 billion annual increase in fuel tax and vehicle registration fees to replenish shrinking road repair budgets.

A bill package quickly shelved after introduction in April would raise the state's 19-cent gas tax to 28 cents per gallon by 2009 and boost vehicle registration fees by 50 percent. The state would get 40 percent of the new money. Counties and cities would share the rest. The proposal has languished because neither Gov. Jennifer Granholm nor lawmakers have made road revenue an element in a year-long struggle to balance the state budget


The talking points from them is that the money for a gas tax would fix the roads. I don't trust government to earmark that money there in the first place, but here's my response. Why the hell are the roads in other states better than ours despite constant construction, many of them have lower gas prices? Weather is used as an excuse, but other states have more extreme weather than we do.

Michigan year in and year out has one of the highest gas prices in the country. Not only that, we pay 6% sales tax on top of the gas taxes we already have, so we are already double taxed.

And one rumor I heard is that one of the grants or possible grants for that Train to Nowhere being pushed here is $500,000 from our highway funds. Now I don't know for a fact if that is true, but if it is, than this money won't be just going for road repairs.

With $3/gallon gas as it is, this turkey needs to be shot down faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

1 comment:

keithr said...

I have a better idea. Let's put a constitutional measure on the ballot that would remove the sales tax from gasoline, roughly 18 cents at $3 per gallon. Increase the gas tax by 6 cents per gallon to provide additional funding for roads. Add language to the measure which places 100% of money collected on the sale of gasoline or from registration fees into a trust fund to be used only for road or bridge construction, maintenance, and repair.

This would give Michigan drivers a 12 cent cut in the price they pay for gas, increase the money available for roads, and stop politicians from raiding road funds to pay for other things.