Dear Crabby, Are We Going to Have Yet Another New Gas Tax?

Dear Crabby, Are We Going to Have Yet Another New Gas Tax from Governor Witchmer?

Sincerely,  Ian Fuming

 

Dear Mr. Fuming,

First of all, it’s Governor Whitmer, not Witchmer, but that can happen when proposed taxes seem like evil spells. Nothing has been decided yet, but the new governor is suggesting it will take an additional 45 cents per gallon to fix the darn roads (she uses a different word, but this is a family show), which is an extra $6-10 per fill-up, per car, on average.

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Now, it wouldn’t all go into effect at one time. It would be 15 cents every six months to ease us into being the highest taxed state at the pump! Currently, we’re the 6th highest at 26.3 cents per gallon after a 2017 increase. That legislation included a 20 percent increase in vehicle registration costs as well. And, most the that revenue won’t be spent on roads and bridges until 2021. So, I’m sure the governor thinks they better get a new tax in the pipeline now.

To be fair, that tax increase in 2017 was never meant to fix the problem completely, it was a starting point … according to experts. But again, we haven’t seen the majority of that increase put towards the roads yet.

Besides being a huge increase, the proposal would eliminate the general fund revenue earmarked for roads to go to something else. So, it is still not enough to fix the roads … so say those same experts.

Here’s what needs to happen as I see it:

  • Any gas tax must be for the roads ONLY
  • Leave the general fund as is
  • Use only Michigan labor and companies to do the job
  • Hold them accountable for the quality of their work
  • Lower the truck weight limits in Michigan (currently the highest in the nation) which beat up the roads
  • Have a firm expiration date to the tax increase

Once the proposal includes all that, then we can talk about it. Of course, they’re going to do whatever they want. And I never worry too much about it. The roads may get better, but they’ll never be great (those days are gone), and they’ll find a new way to tell us they need more money.

To help you save money on gas around town, read my column about the High Gas Prices in Rochester/Rochester Hills.

Keep watching the drama unfold, chances are we’ll be stuck with a gas tax increase of some sort.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at DearCrabby@rochestermedia.com.

Comments

  1. Tom Klix says:

    Hey Crabby, how about we lower the “cost” of our state government? Follow the lead of 40 other states and get a part time legislature. Perhaps then we could cut the cost of pensions and health care to elected officials. Just have them do their years of civic service and go home & back to work.

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