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Posted on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

Bill to tap into sales tax for road repairs passes Michigan Senate

By Steve Pepple

Michigan’s crumbling roads would get an injection of cash for repairs from the state’s sales tax under a bill passed by the Senate Tuesday, reports.

State senators overwhelmingly approved a plan to earmark a portion of the 6 percent sales tax for roads, with an eye toward landing more matching federal funds.

Two percentage points of the sales tax goes directly to the school aid fund and the rest is divided among other areas of the budget, including revenue sharing to municipalities. The road money would come from the part of the money that goes to the general fund.

Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, said the change would claim about $135 million for the roads from the general fund.

Gov. Rick Snyder has said it will take about $1.4 billion to maintain roads, and more for new projects, and has called for lawmakers to look at a variety of ways to raise money.

The legislation now moves to the state House.

Read the full story at


Dog Guy

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

Even today, when flying over SE Michigan I see blue accented with a touch of green. After nearly two centuries of digging drainage ditches, this is still a "water wonderland" and one good rain away from its original state of mosquito-dominated swamp. We float some pavement on this marsh mush and decree that the nation's heaviest trucks may use them. The trucking industry destroys the roads and then makes immense profits repairing them. It is not just that owners of the trucking industry buy the Michigan legislature, but that they inherited the legislature with their trucking companies.

Jeffersonian Liberal

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

If we actually had some representation in Washington instead of the clowns the ignorant masses of this states sends we wouldn't be in this predicament. I believe that Michigan ranks around 47th for the amount of federal gasoline tax dollars returned to the state. Then the pinheads in Lansing waste that money on bike paths, more high speed rail studies and turnarounds. Eliminate the Federal Transportation Dept. and spend the damn tax revenue on what it was meant for. Oh yea, repeal the Davis-Beacon act and allow competitive bidding on road projects.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

The dance around the root causes of our beat up roads continues in Lansing. Heavy and /or overweight trucks, poor design and inferior quality. Throwing more money at the roads is yet another temporary and costly fix. We keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Sounds a bit like insanity.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

So instead of raising taxes they just take the money they need for roads and then make the rest of the State government fight over the money that is left.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 11:47 a.m.

Whatever Ohio and Indiana are doing to keep their roadways well maintained is what Michigan should do, since it's obvious the moment you hit the state line the road gets better.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 10:42 a.m.

Maybe is someone would do something about the price of gas -- maybe more gallons would be sold. Pretty soon it won't matter what the roads look like, because no one will be able to drive on them.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 10:39 a.m.

Roads do need repair. Repairs cost money. Trucks do most of the damage to our highways. Make people who cause the majority of the damage pay for repairing our roads. Solution: 1. Raise the taxes on diesel fuel 2. Tax the businesses that use trucks 3. Man the weigh stations along major highways, tax freight haulers by weight and impose heavy fines for truckers that violate the loading regulations.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

Go ahead and tax trucking companies to death, but just remember that those costs will show up on the price of food and other goods. When the price of fuel goes up so does everything else.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 3:09 a.m.

And the businesses whose trucks beat up the roads? So someone who buys something has to pay for their damage. Typical Republican logic. What happen to their 'accountability' ethic? Oh, forgot - it never existed.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 3:51 a.m.

Businesses 'whose trucks beat up the roads' pay commercial licenses for their vehicles that are far more expensive than residential licenses, pay gas taxes that are supposed to fund the roads like everyone else, and are restricted more than residential vehicles. Get real.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 1:40 a.m.

Raise the sales tax .5 cents with all that going towards roads.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

Wouldn't .5 cents be half a penny (if my grade school math holds up)? Wouldn't .05 cents be 5 pennies (not 50) only in implied relation to a dollar, with or without the $ indicator?


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.

Actually your statement implies that you want to raise the sales tax by 50 cents. .05 is five cents


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

Sales tax is a percent of sales made within the state. What would the half cent represent as part of that percentage?

Ryan Bowles

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:53 a.m.

What is getting cut even more to pay for the roads? It's robbing Peter to pay Paul- after Peter has already been robbed over and over again.

Basic Bob

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

Good news - Pete will spend less on car repairs, and won't have to buy an all-terrain vehicle to drive to the grocery store.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

This is bad public policy. Yes, the roads need more funding. Create a VMT tax to replace the gas tax. (Fairest.) Raise the gas tax. Second fairest. Cannibalize the sales tax? Wholly unfair. People should pay based on proportional use of and damage to the roads.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 9:39 a.m.

@SMC: Most cyclists also own a car and do pay for roadways. The damage cyclists do to the roads and therefore the "fair share" is almost zero. I believe the formula for road damage is something like proportional to the 4th power of the weight. In other words, essentially zero. There's no polite way to characterize how ridiculous your last comment is.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 9:36 a.m.

@ferdcom: I do take your point. First a nit: I don't think it's over 21 cents a gallon. According to this page:,1607,7-164-24257-93060--,00.html The formula is (3.75 - .19) / 17.67 = -.20. They don't give the units, but I'm assuming that means 20 cents per gallon, which is close enough to your point. But, the article doesn't talk about how much money is raised by sales of gasoline vs. sales of everything and whether the $135 million is a more, less, or equal to that fraction.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:47 a.m.

Wholly fair. Cyclists use the roadways too, so they should share in the maintenance costs. In fact, they should pay extra for the traffic delays and aggravation they are responsible for.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 11:24 p.m.

A portion of the sales tax is based on road use. With gas at $3.75 per gallon sales tax is over 21 cents per gallon.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

Better roads than union pork says I ....


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

But let me guess, you're all for money going to millionaires!