Senate Majority Leader: “Fix the Damn Roads”

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LANSING, Mich. (May 21, 2014) – The Michigan Senate is now considering the fate of a package of bills that’s expected to generate more than $1.5 billion more in funding to repair crumbling roads and bridges.

After Sen. Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) dropped the billion dollar bombshell in Lansing on Tueday, senators spent much of Wednesday behind closed doors.

Members of the Infrastructure Modernization Committee sent the package of bills to the full chamber Wednesday morning.

Among the measures, a substitute for House Bill 5477 was adopted by the committee.

It would increase the percentage tax on gasoline to 9.5 percent starting in January 2015, then gradually increasing it to 13.5 percent in January 2018.

The substituted HB 5477 would put an end to the current fuel taxes of 19 cents per gallon and 15 cents per gallon on diesel by Dec. 31, 2014.

The committee also sent to the floor a substitute for HB 4630. This measure would remove a provision that currently allows a reduced registration fee over three years for those who have purchased a new vehicle.

HB 5493, SB 149 and SB 6 are also now in front of the full Senate.

SB 6, introduced by Sen. John Proos (R-St. Joseph), continues annually an earmark of $100 million in state sales tax for road funding.

SB 149 replaced the diesel and gas tax with the higher sales tax.

After the Senate session was adjourned for the day, Sen. Richardville said he was confident he could pass the measures in a bipartisan way.

However, Democrats are raising concerns about how the bills would impact the poor.

“Democrats stand ready to pass a real road funding package that will make a long-term investment that’s so desperately needed,” said Democratic spokesman Robert McCann. “Unfortunately, the package as introduced by the Republicans isn’t there yet as it puts an incredible tax burden on low-income families who can least afford it. We’re hopeful that Republicans will now sit down with us and negotiate something that’s truly in the best interest of Michigan’s roads and working families.”

Richardville says members of his party want to continue talking about the bills before taking any action, which could come Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

The Majority Leader says anything less than passing these bills is “shirking” responsibility and now is the time to “fix the damn roads.”

When asked whether his plan has been discussed with House leadership, they were only warned “be ready for something bold.”

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  • Joe

    There are other ways to do this than to drop it all on the backs of the lower and middle class who are already struggling from the recent changes manifested in our current economic dynamic! This is ridiculous!

    Wow. Are we NOT paying enough taxes yet, STILL? They're really reaching, aye!

    Accounts Receivable Tax? Accumulated Earnings Tax? Alternative minimum tax? Aviation fuel tax? Capital gains tax? Cement and Gypsum Producers License Tax? Cigarette Tax? Coal Severance Tax? Coal Gross Proceeds Tax? Consumer Counsel Tax? Consumption Tax? Corporate Income Tax? Corporation License Tax? Court Fines? Customs Duty? Dog License Tax? Electrical Energy Producers Tax? Estate Tax? Inheritance Estate Tax? Inheritance tax? Federal Income Tax? Federal Unemployment Tax? Fishing License Tax? Food Service License Tax? Fuel Permit License Tax? Gas Guzzler Tax? Gasoline Tax (8 to 35 cents per gallon) Per tank? Generation-skipping Transfer Tax? Gross Production Tax? Hospital Facility Utilization Fee Tax? Hunting License Fee Tax? Inventory Tax? IRS Interest Charges? IRS Penalties Tax IRS penalties? Kiddie Tax? Land Value Tax? Liquor License Tax? Liquor Tax? Local Tax? Lodging Facility Use Tax? Luxury Tax Luxury tax? Marriage License Tax?

    Wait! There's more! lol

    Medicare Tax? Metal Mines Gross Proceeds Tax? Miscellaneous Mineral Mines License Tax? Miscellaneous Mines Net Proceeds Tax? Nursing Facility Bed Tax? Oil and Natural Gas Production Tax? Parking Meter Tax Parking meter tax? Payroll Tax Payroll tax? Professional Privilege Tax? Property Tax? Proxy Tax Proxy tax? Public Contractor's Gross Receipts Tax Public Service Commission Tax? Public Utility Tax? Real Estate Tax? Real Estate Transfer Tax? Rental Vehicle Sales Tax? Resort Tax? Resource Indemnity and Groundwater Assessment Tax? Retail Telecommunications Excise Tax? Sales Tax? School Tax? Self-Employment Tax? Septic Permit Tax? Severance Tax? Social Security Tax? State Income Tax? State Unemployment Tax? Statewide Emergency Telephone 911 System Fee Tax? Surtax Tax – Extra tax? Tariffs – A tax on imports? Telephone Federal Excise Tax? Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax? Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax? TDD Telecommunications Service Fee Tax? Tobacco Products Tax (Other than Cigarettes)? Toll Road Fee Tax? Toll Bridge Fee Tax? Toll Tunnel Fee Tax? Tonnage Tax? Traffic Fines Tax? Trailer Registration Fee Tax? Use Tax? Vehicle Registration and License Tax? Vehicle Sales Tax? Watercraft Registration Tax? Well Permit Tax? Wholesale Energy Transaction Tax? Workers Compensation Tax? Here a tax. There a tax. Everywhere a tax tax. Old McDonald paid some tax. E I E I OOOOOOOO.

    Am I missing something here? Oh, yeah. I know. And, …money to fix the roads. lol

    And while we're at it, how about we pay an oxygen tax based on how much air we have consumed according to our age? :))

    And a Partridge in a pear treeeeeeeee eeeeeeeee …..TAX!

    What ever happened to the 1.3 billion surplus for last year that Governor Schnieder was touting about a month ago? Why don't they use THAT? :ll

    Here's an idea! Why don't they just do it the way they always do? :))

  • Wayne

    How soon can Republicans divert 10% of this new tax revenue for corporate tax relief? Hope not more than a few weeks.

  • Vivian Pixley

    Why don’t your reporter’s take a drive down Knapp st. In Grand rapids, west from Fuller ave. To Plainfield then back ready to Fuller again. People have been complaining about this street alone for the last 13 years or more. The cities solution was to redo the road in the opposite direction from fuller to Dean lake and never touch the other end the worse end, backwards if you ask us.

  • banthebanners

    I've got a better idea. Every penny from every automotive related sale is apportioned for road and road infrastructure repair and maintenance. Car sales tax, auto parts and accessory store sales, vehicle registration fees, any fees auto insurance companies pay to the state, fuel sales tax. ( That's 21 cents per gallon at $3.50 / gallon.) Look at the post above and see how many automotive related things you can find. You get the picture. Any surplus can be returned to us in the form of a tax holiday. I don't care if some bureaucrat doesn't get a new Escalade or Beamer this year. I don't care if a public school district doesn't get to build a new cathedral high school building like Grandville has. If a school district wants something above what is reasonable and necessary then they can go to the voters in their district. Reduce the government workforce to private sector levels to do similar work. This can certainly be done mainly through attrition. Government needed to learn a long time ago to get by like the rest of us.