Paving the way to Michigan’s future is going to cost money, but it’s the only sensible approach to rebuild our state’s roads and bridges.
It’s a certainty that we’ll pay either for needed upgrades, or we will pay the price with added vehicle repairs, personal injuries, limited commercial (jobs) growth and loss of federal monetary support for our road systems.
Item No. 1 on the agenda will be to renew the expiring legal intoxication limit of .08 percent of a driver’s blood alcohol level. It’s a no-brainer, because at stake is $50 million in federal highway funds. That money comes from federal fuel taxes, which we send to Washington and is partially returned to us for complying with federal blood alcohol standards.
Gov. Snyder is proposing per-vehicle taxes by way of increased fuel taxes and registration fees that would add $1.2 billion in roads funding. Michigan taxpayers who know that we already stand at No. 6 in the nation in total taxation are realizing they’ll be paying even higher taxes this year in federal and state income taxes. With gasoline prices changing almost at whimsy, but inevitably upward bound, they’re in no mood to pay even more for fuel. Same goes for registration fees. Ever-increasing catastrophic claims fees, in a process controlled not by elected officials but by a committee of insurance company representatives add to taxpayer resistance.
Hence the conundrum: We must maintain our infrastructure, because without good roads, Michigan, or any state for that matter, will slip into obscurity. It is incumbent upon our elected representatives on both sides of the aisle to acknowledge that the cause is right. Either get behind Gov. Snyder’s proposal or come up with a better one.
Just fix the roads.
Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.