Toll roads in Michigan? Brighton lawmaker wants state to consider

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan's transportation budget, which was approved by House Republicans Thursday, includes a measure to study the feasability of toll roads in the state.

Rep. Ann Bollin (R) of Brighton is behind the amendment that would require MDOT to study whether toll roads would be a reliable source to finance roadway infrastructure.

Also in the budget, the sales taxes collected at the pump would be shifted to road repairs. Majority Republicans on Thursday billed it as a key component of their counterproposal to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's call for higher fuel taxes to fix deteriorating infrastructure. Democrats in opposition say the spending bills would create new problems by diverting money from schools and municipalities.

Michigan spends less per capita on transportation than many states but has fuel taxes that rank among the country's highest. That's because it assesses a sales tax on gasoline - which is rare - while the revenue primarily helps fund education and local governments.

The House vote was the latest step in what could be a protracted budget process that extends into summer.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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