Michigan Lawmakers Dither Over How To Raise Badly Needed Transportation Funding

Bridge Michigan reports, “Michigan’s infrastructure is in bad shape, and recent estimates suggest the state’s roads, bridges, water systems and transit are only getting costlier to fix. But at least for now, the state’s Democratic leadership — including the governor who rode into office on a promise to ‘fix the damn roads’ —  isn’t quite ready to take the oft-traveled, pothole-riddled road toward a long-term funding plan. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer offered little in the way of new funding ideas for addressing Michigan’s infrastructure issues in her state budget proposal. And Democratic lawmakers, fresh off of three months of tackling a slew of progressive priorities, haven’t yet taken up any major policy or spending initiatives that would put a dent into the estimated $3.9 billion-per-year gap between the cost of fixing the state’s roadways and how much the state currently spends on road repairs.” The article looks at the history of recent (failed) attempts to increase state transportation funding, as well as alternatives to the rejected idea of a hike in fuel taxation. Two of the concepts under discussion are tolling and mileage-based use fees.