Rain Lui is a Michigan State University student who got the chance to drive across a lot of the United States. However, when she reached the state of Michigan, she couldn’t help but to notice a difference. “I could feel immediately degradation of the quality of the roads,” Lui said.
However, there may be hope for more future road trips and commuters. A new package of bill recently signed by Governor Synder promises to bring in 1.2 billion dollars in new funding. The new fund will be footed in half. 600 millions of that will come from pre-existing revenue. The other 600 will come from a new gas tax that will begin next October and a 20% increase in vehicle registration fees.
The new roads plan begins raising taxes next October and will steadily increase funding and fees until it can add the 1.2 Billion to our budget. The number of 1.2 billion comes from many contractors, says House Representative Dr. Hank Vaupel (R-47).
Not everyone is happy about the new plan. Senator Curtis Hertel (D-23) said that he was afraid the money redistributed from the pre-existing funds would not be good for Michigan. “I voted not on the road plan and I did so because I don’t think it solves the current problem,” Senator Hertel said, “All we’re doing is raising peoples taxes without actually making the correct investment in our roads.”
Michigan roads have been in trouble for a while. Representative Vaupel said that road funding was cut in the early 21st century and since then things have just gone downhill. Representative Vaupel voted for most of the roads package, saying that it accomplished much. “It does bring a certain amount of accountability to how the money is spent. It puts a cap on the amount of money that the department of transportation can spend.” However, he did not vote for the part of raising taxes to fund the roads since there will be complete funding until 2021.