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Gov. Whitmer pitches fuel tax boost as permanent fix for crumbling roads

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is traveling the state to sell her plan to raise the gas tax by 45 cents per gallon. The fuel tax increase would go to fix roads, and to stop using the state General Fund for that purpose.   

The governor says the current plan has not kept pace with wear and tear on roads. She says that’s cost drivers more in repairs and deprived the state of economic opportunities.

Whitmer says calling for a tax increase is a last resort.

“I don’t enjoy putting this solution on the table, but it is about time that we had a serious conversation about where we are headed as a state, and what it’s going to take to fix these problems,” she said.

The Legislature’s Republican leaders agree more money is needed to fix roads. But they say the governor’s plan puts too much of the burden on working families who pay fuel taxes.

“We can make a bold decision that actually fixes problems in our state, or we can keep doing what we have been doing and watch the continued deterioration of the state that we love and are glad to call home,” Whitmer said.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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