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Passing Gas…Tax Increase

Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, wants to charge more for gas in the state.

According to Business Insider and a study conducted by the self-driving car company, Lvl5, Michigan has the worst roads in the United States.

If you think your state has it bad, let’s compare the standings. Here are the top ten WORST states when it comes to “road paint fading, pavement cracking, potholes, and surface flatness.”

  • 10: Maine
  • 9: New York
  • 8: Wisconsin
  • 7: Rhode Island
  • 6: Illinois
  • 5: Kansas
  • 4: Ohio
  • 3: Indiana
  • 2: Iowa
  • 1: Michigan

For all of you in Georgia, you’re at 13.

Here is the map and a link to the study.

“lvl5 Road Quality By County (Red=Worst; Blue=Best — Note: Some counties did not have enough Payver data to make a significant measurement)”
Credit: Andrew Kouri

Governor Gretchen Whitmer was elected this past November.  She is a Democrat serving with a Republican majority legislature.

Whitmer promised voters that she would “fix the damn roads.”

As is often the case, there wasn’t a plan to do so.  Just the desire to.

The DailyCaller cited a statement from a free market think tank director in eastern Michigan, “Her basic thing is that she wanted more money for the roads, but never came up with a plan. It seems to be inconsistent with her policy right now,” Hohman told The Daily Caller News Foundation.He was referring to a debate in 2018 where Whitmer called claims of her willingness to drastically increase gas taxes ridiculous.”

According the MLive, “The centerpiece of Whitmer’s plan is focused on her campaign promise to improve Michigan’s roads. It would raise the fuel tax by 45 cents per gallon by Oct. 1, 2020 in three, 15-cent increments.”

The Detroit Free Press added “[Whitmer’s Budget Director] said the new road revenue would be targeted at “the most heavily traveled roads and the most economically important roads in our state, regardless of whether they are state roads or local roads.”

That last bit of information presents the most striking problem in this whole debate regarding gas taxes.  The state of Michigan is going to fund road repairs that are local, based on economic importance.

During the election season, there were a lot of political ads in this state from the democrats that focused on this collectivist mindset. The water is OUR water regardless of locality, municipality, county, or ownership.

The insistence that the roads are “our roads” creates an interesting dynamic between different parts of the state. 

A resident of the Upper Peninsula will now pay more for gas in order to fix roads that he will never use.  If roads in Lansing, Grand Rapids, or Detroit suck, and they are not state roads, there is no obligation for drivers in other parts of the state to subsidize a locality’s failure.

A state rep from Midland said “the Legislature has to look within the existing budget first to find resources to fix the roads. Only after that “can we talk about where we go for additional revenue,”

That statement represents another issue with this proposal. It creates a burden for drivers, and even out of state tourists, who happen to fill up their gas tanks while in Michigan instead of looking for existing funds in areas that can be cut.

Paying more money for gas is something that immediately hurts the wallet.  There is little drivers can do to avoid it, but most are willing to pay whatever the price is for gas because it is essential.

The question is not whether it will raise enough money, fix the roads, or provide an economic boost to certain areas of the state in the long run, the question is whether the State of Michigan should increase the cost of gasoline throughout the whole state in order to fund repairs in only certain parts of the state. 


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