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Attention in Lansing turns to road funding as State of the State approaches

Road in need of repair.
Peter Ito

Governor Rick Snyder says he’ll outline a new plan to fund road improvements during his State of the State address on Wednesday.

The plan could include higher vehicle registration fees to pay for road projects and maintenance.        

Advocates for more state road funding say spending has not kept up with costs. State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said Michigan’s road system needs more help. But they have not been able to agree on ways to pay for maintenance and improvements.         

The Legislature could again consider a plan that would raise the state sales tax by 1 percentage point to pay for roads.

It would get rid of the state’s gas tax. Supporters of the plan say the sales tax would be a more stable source of funds as people drive fewer miles and buy more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.

Governor Snyder never embraced the plan because it would take a state-wide vote to increase the sales tax.

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