Not surprisingly, I highly disagree with one of them regarding the gas tax. There's been a militant push among many in the media and political class supporting the gas tax going back to 2007. It has taken seven years and luckily it still had not increased over the 36-40 cents it is currently (depending on price at the pump).
Perlberg said the state must address two decades of neglect of Michigan’s roads.
Lawmakers continue to seek another $1.2 billion in annual road funding.
“I would achieve that with a combination of increased gas taxes and vehicle registration fees. That could be tempered in the future if we have sustained economic growth, which will produce additional dollars into our general ,” he said at the recent forum.
I'll give Rich Perlberg credit for being out and open about his support for this. It's certainly not going to be a popular answer. Considering we have the 6th highest gas tax in the country, it shouldn't be a popular answer.
Lana Theis had this.
Brighton Township Treasurer Lana Theis, also a GOP contender for the House seat, said capturing 25 percent of annual state budget increases could fill the funding gap.Theis said her idea would have captured a total of roughly $1 billion between the 2010 and 2014 budget years.
“The problem is not that we’re not taking enough . It’s that we’re not spending the money in the right place,” Theis said at the Daily Press & Argus candidate forum.“Until they prove to me that they’re spending all of the money that we take at the pump on the roads, I don’t even want to discuss a tax increase,” Theis added.
Nick Fiani had this
Nick Fiani, president of the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education and a GOP House candidate, said the state should strictly dedicate gas taxes, the state’s sales tax on gas, and vehicle registration fees to roads.
Dedicating the sales tax on gasoline to roads would involve voter approval because it would require a constitutional amendment. Without increasing the sales tax, it also would mean schools and local governments would lose funding they currently .
Fiani said road funding could also receive a boost through repealing Michigan’s prevailing-wage law on public construction projects and through more competitive bidding on projects.
He said his overall plan would create between $750 million and nearly $1 billion each year in extra road funding.
“There is absolutely no need to raise taxes to fix Michigan roads. If the state and the government would utilize the proper and appropriate streams of revenue toward the appropriate expenditures, a solution could be (found),” he said.
Dale Rogers had this
GOP House candidate Dale Rogers, a Novi High School vocational teacher, called for a bipartisan commission to review state spending.
Rogers said a starting point could be axing tax-incentive programs.
For the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, the state’s economic development incentives will be funded at $130 million, and the state’s filmmaking incentives at $50 million, according to state figures.
If the appropriated $180 million in incentives went to roads, that would still be $1.02 billion short of Snyder’s figure.
Most of the business incentives are scheduled to expire, but with program dollars intended to fill a revenue gap created by ending the personal-property tax on business equipment.
Rogers said the panel also could consider slashing a portion of state Department of Corrections funding, set at $2.04 billion for 2015.
I also saw this quote which tells me many of the same problems at the heart of every budget issue is still around.
But only about $10 billion of next year’s $52 billion budget is state money. The remaining $42 billion is federal money, none of which can be redirected for other uses, explained David Murray, Snyder’s deputy press secretary.Murray said state general fund revenue increased about $1.1 billion from 2012 to next year’s budget, however.
I have a hard time believing that the $42 billion is federal money. He's confusing "state money" with earmarked money. Some money is earmarked due to federal strings attached (matching funds, etc) and some is due to the State Constitution provision. It would take an amendment to change some of those. It's also something that needs to be looked at. If 82% of the budget can't be touched, than the legislature and governor has a real hard time doing its job properly. Until more than 8-10 billion can be adjusted, we'll always have budgetary problems in this state. It's a structural issue that goes back to before Engler. Open up the whole damn thing and fix it. Don't give us another tax.