Audit finds Michigan government using millions from petroleum tax for questionable purposes
Report released Friday says nearly $160 million has been used to make debt payments since 2004
State of Michigan auditors are making objections about the use of millions of dollars from a petroleum tax.
The tax is supposed to pay for problems related to leaking underground storage tanks and certain inspection programs. But a report released Friday says nearly $160 million has been used to make debt payments since 2004.
Lawmakers short of cash have used another $32 million for programs at the Department of Environmental Quality. The audit says that's not the purpose of the refined petroleum fund.
In response, DEQ says it's following orders from the Legislature. The Treasury Department is also defending use of the tax to pay interest on bonds. The department says Michigan law, with a few exceptions, allows any revenue to be used to pay debt.
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