The Michigan Senate voted July 1 on their alternative to a transportation funding package, passing it with mostly Republicans votes. While far better than the House version, it remains insufficient. If implemented, it would:
- Raise the gas tax by 15-cents over three years, then adjust it with inflation,
- Raise the diesel tax to match the gas tax,
- Provide 10% of new gas and diesel tax revenue to transit, trails, and trains,
- Increase hybrid and electric vehicle fees,
- Allocate $700 million in existing income tax revenue to roads (only), and
- Require an income tax roll-back if state revenue growth exceeds inflation.
Thankfully it would NOT eliminate the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit as previously proposed.
The good news – once fully implemented, it would provide millions more every year for transit and other non-road transportation needs, including millions to SMART and to DDOT to improve their bus service!
The bad news – that is just 5% of the total new revenue. Plus it would take money away from other important parts of the state budget that have yet to be identified.
The worse news – the next step is to compromise with the State House in Conference Committee. The House bill adds almost no new revenue and leaves transit out completely!
Please urge the Governor and Legislative Leaders to improve on the Senate version and oppose the House version, providing sufficient new funding for the entire transportation system!