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House Panel Puts Road Funding Plan On Fast Track


A state House committee is going to work on a $1.6 billion plan to pay for road repair and maintenance.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta.

Road experts say every day, three million dollars is added to the cost of restoring and maintaining Michigan’s streets and highways.

State Representative Wayne Schmidt chairs the House Transportation Committee. He says fuel taxes are tough to sell, but fixing the roads has become an economic necessity. 

“As our economy is starting to rebound, now is exactly the time to double down and get our transportation network going,”  he says.  “That will, I think, speed up our progress here in Michigan.”

Although there would be a net increase in fuel taxes, part of the plan would exempt fuel from the six percent state sales tax. That money doesn’t go to pay for roads. But the exemption would require lawmakers to replace a billion dollars that would be lost to schools and local governments.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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