Michigan roads: What will fixing the roads cost taxpayers?

Gov. Whitmer promised to fix roads during campaign

LANSING, Mich. – Lansing lawmakers are likely to ask the taxpayers for more money to fix the roads.

The Michigan Department of Transportation estimates it needs a little more than a billion dollars more per year to fix state trunk lines.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ran on fixing the roads but has offered no plan yet. She is expected to give more details in her budget address in March.

What leadership in both parties is starting to go on record with is new taxes are likely needed to get this done, but what that formula looks like is not yet clear.

“We have to look at how we’re raising that revenue in the first place,” said House Speaker Lee Chatfield. “How we are having our gas tax accumulated at the pump and our sales tax.”

Legislators are keenly aware of the pushback they got from the voters in 2015. Lansing didn’t want to vote on raising registration fees and gas taxes and punted to the voters. The voters smacked it down hard. Doing that again is a losing strategy, which means a fix rests in the hands of legislators.

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