More Funds Could Go Towards Roads With A Change In Gasoline Tax - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

More Funds Could Go Towards Roads With A Change In Gasoline Tax

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(WLNS) - House Speaker Jase Bolger says it's a plan that could produce roughly $500 million every year to go towards state roads.

And a lot of that money would come from a change in Michigan's gasoline tax.

So we asked our Nick Perreault to crunch the numbers and find out who will be paying the bill.

Bolger admits his new plan doesn't fix roads perminanetly, but it's a start.

"This is one of the key areas I refer to as a building block," said Bolger.

It works by changing how companies in part buy gas from a cents per gallon to a 6 percent tax on the wholesale price.

"As gas floats, it would float."

That means the higher the wholesale price the more dollars and cents go towards roads.

Compare that to the cap now at 19 cents per gallon and right now, if gas is under $3.55, you'd actually save money.

When it's over, you'd spend more than the current method.

MSU Economist Ken Boyer says that method could be problematic.

"The problem for the state treasurey is that it then means that in some years the state treasury is going to get a lot of money to repair roads and others get little," said Boyer.

House Press Secretary Ari Adler says they're working on a cap.

"For too many years people have said, well if we can't solve the whole problem then we shouldn't solve any of it, and all that has gotten us is potholes."

Adler says the speaker's move to change diesel tax to a wholesale charge could bring in another $40 million annually.

The Michigan Petroleum Association fears that change would hurt their business.

"Today we struggle to get those interstate truck drivers to stop in our travel centers. If the price goes higher, those trucks won't stop in Michigan anymore."

It's a plan that the speaker hopes those in Michigan will see the positives of filling those potholes outweigh an increase at the pump.

The speaker says in addition to those changes roughly 2 percent of the sales tax from gasoline would be re-purposed for roads as well.

That money is currently being used as general fund money. 

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