Controversy stirs over Gov. Whitmer’s proposed gas tax

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Controversy continues to stir over Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s gas tax proposal, as five people protested today at our state’s capitol.

They wore yellow vests, which stem from the France protests demanding economic justice.

Those against this potential gas tax say it’s going to take a toll on low income families if put in place, so now they’re hoping to stop it before it does.

“Maybe to one person $300 across the year isn’t so much, an additional gas tax, that’s very significant,” said Luke Sciberras, the chairman of the Capital Area Libertarian Party.

Sciberras says it’s already expensive to own a car in Michigan. He says Governor Whitmer’s proposed gas tax will only make it worse.

“It’s not helping people that need the help most,” said Sciberras.

Whitmer’s plan includes raising $2.5 billion annually to fix the roads by adding a fuel tax, that wouls cost the average driver $23 a month.

6 News caught up with the governor last week, she says her plan is a short-term difficulty for a long-term solution.

“I know that a gas tax increase will create a hardship for a number of people in our state, but the fact of the matter is after 40 years of disinvestment and failure, we’re all paying for bad roads, we’re just paying in the form of more collision insurance costs, we’re paying in the form of new tires or windshields,” said Whitmer.

But Sciberras thinks the money is already available in the state budget.

“If you go down the list of the budget, you’re gonna see all sorts of programs and you’re gonna scratch your head and say why is the state doing that? So at the very least that’s a great place to start,” said Sciberras.

He hopes a solution is drawn up soon.

“It’s too much money for somebody that needs it for their needs,” said Sciberras.

If Governor Whitmer’s plan is approved, it would be phased in over a one year period, with the first 15 cents going into effect October 1st, the second next April, and the third in October 2020.

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