Michigan Businesses Implore Action on Road Funding - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Michigan Businesses Implore Action on Road Funding


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Michigan's business community is imploring lawmakers to raise more money to maintain roads for the first time since 1997.
Governor Rick Snyder's proposal to raise gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees is getting a cool reception in the Legislature.
But groups representing manufacturers, farmers and the tourism industry said Monday that doing nothing is unacceptable. They say putting off a decision will leave residents with a higher bill down the road.
The business lobby likes Snyder's plan to raise $1.2 billion more with "user fees." Drivers using the roads would pay for their upkeep with higher gas taxes and vehicle fees totaling around $120 more per vehicle each year.

Former Gov. Granholm tried that and the plan blew up under intense public criticism.

"We tried the sales tax on services in the past. It was a colossal failure in 2007. It's complicated. It's a gigantic general tax increase that not addressing the problem," said Jim Holcomb, Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

"A sales tax on services in an industry such as us which is utterly dependent on disscrenary income, to increase the sales tax is something we'd look at but is probably not a good way to go. It does not take much for some to diswade someone planning a vaction her to go elsewhere," said Steve Yencich, Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association.

Some legislators are talking about raising the retail sales tax or expanding it to services instead. But businesses oppose those ideas.

Poiltical Consultant Kelly Rossman thinks if they governor goes the sales tax on service route, there better be a gas tax cut too.

"Anything you do if it is to increase the sales tax on services, then you need to rollback the tax on gasoline now at 19 cents per gallon," said Rossman.

The governor and his team have not shown any of this to lawmakers, yet, but it's a sure bet if they go this route, not everyone will be happy.


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