A plan to boost road funding by about $1 billion a year could clear the state House this week. House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant) is pushing a plan that would rely mostly on shifting existing funds in the state budget and expected revenue increases in the coming years.
That proposal has been widely criticized by people who say significantly raising taxes is the only way to guarantee enough money goes to roads.
Cotter’s spokesperson says the proposal is not necessarily a final product. “The caucus showed that what they wanted was to get out there and get a plan introduced and to get underway right away after Prop 1 went down,” said Gideon D’Assandro. “And we’ve gotten that. And we’re going to bring it to the floor. And hopefully we get a lot more ideas.” “We kind of wish that a lot of the people who are criticizing our plan would come up with one of their own and be a productive part of the discussion,” he said. The House proposal would also end tax credits for the film industry and the working poor, shift revenues from tobacco settlement money and tribal gaming revenues, increase fees on alternative fuel vehicles, and increase taxes on diesel fuel. Gov. Rick Snyder is one of those favoring a significant tax increase for roads. He put out a plan two years ago that would increase the state’s gas tax and vehicle registration fees to boost road funding by about $1.2 billion annually. The state Senate is expected to release its plan to increase infrastructure spending by July.