LANSING – Michigan lawmakers have taken a step toward spending $450 million a year more on deteriorating roads, mostly by redirecting existing tax dollars. A House committee on Wednesday voted to permanently shift money from Michigan's general fund to transportation spending.
Another panel approved legislation bringing the diesel tax in line with the gasoline tax and taxing fuels on price instead of a flat per-gallon basis. Fuel taxes would grow with inflation.
The $450 million is just a third of what Gov. Rick Snyder says is needed to bring Michigan roads up to par. Michigan's gasoline taxes are among the country's highest while its per-capita road spending is among the lowest because the sales tax on fuel primarily goes to non-transportation funding. Legislators want to dedicate more of it to roads.