PORTLAND, Mich. - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer met with constituents Saturday at a town hall at Portland High School, breaking down her proposed 2020 state budget plan.
Governor Whitmer says her most controversial proposal to raise the gas tax 45 cents per gallon will ultimately save drivers future expenses on car repairs, however people on both sides of the aisle say the plan is too harsh on the average Michigander’s wallet.
“I understand that, I know that gas tax increase will create a hardship for a number of people in our state,” Gov. Whitmer said. “The fact of the matter is after 40 years of disinvestment and failure, we’re all paying for bad roads. We’re just paying in the form of more collision insurance costs, we’re paying in the form of more tires or windshields, we’re paying in the form of $646 a year to fix your car which is the worst kind of road tax you can pay.”
Whitmer first announced this plan at the beginning of March. The proposed tax would steadily increase 15 cents per gallon starting this fall, going up another 15 cents 6 months later, and 15 cents more 6 months after that.
Roughly 78 percent of roads and infrastructure are in good to fair condition according to the Gov. Whitmer. Her goal is to have that up to 90 percent by 2030. Other key issues in the governor’s proposal include good paying trade jobs, clean drinking water, and investing more in public education.
“For the last 40 years we’ve stopped investing in the fundamentals that provide a good life in Michigan and now we find our selves at a crossroads,” the governor said. “The state budget is not just a bunch of numbers on a balance sheet, it is a statement of our values, telling you what we care about, what we want to do and what we think is important in this state.”
You can learn more about the proposed budget at mi.gov/mibudget.