Stamas: Senate passes comprehensive road solution

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Tuesday approved a responsible, long-term solution to maintain and improve Michigan’s roads and bridges, require competitive bidding and provide tax relief in the form of expanding the Homestead Property Tax Credit and future income tax rate rollbacks, said Sen. Jim Stamas.

“Michigan families are keenly aware of the poor condition of our roads — the result of funding problems that have been ignored for decades,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “I have heard from residents that they want the roads fixed. The Senate acted to address Michigan’s long-term road funding problem starting with placing a greater priority in the budget on fixing our roads.

“Under this plan, at least $600 million of current income tax revenue would go toward our roads and bridges — every year.”

According to the most-recent Senate Fiscal Agency report, Michigan ranks last in the nation for per-person annual spending on maintaining transportation infrastructure. The seven-bill package would ensure necessary funding for Michigan’s $1.2 billion problem through a combination of additional revenue and reprioritizing existing resources.

The additional revenue would come from a gas and diesel tax increase that would be phased in and implementing a road use fairness system in which hybrid and electric vehicle registration would increase along with a license plate registration fee adjustment.

“Under the proposal, a typical driver would pay about $1.10 more per week at the pump,” Stamas said. “Importantly, the Michigan Constitution protects this money so that it can only be used to meet our transportation needs.”

Stamas said that the plan is not just about funding and that any long-lasting solution must be comprehensive to succeed.

“This solution protects taxpayers by demanding that road work is warrantied to last and limiting the growth of government by capping our state’s income tax and automatically reducing it every time General Fund growth exceeds the rate of inflation — putting money directly back in the pockets of Michigan families,” Stamas said. “This might not be a perfect plan, but it fixes the roads to protect Michigan drivers and to continue protecting our small businesses and industries along with attracting new businesses.”

“As President Reagan once said, ‘If I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I’m trying to get … I’ll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future.’”