Mixed opinions on solutions to road issues

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It may be back to the drawing board for Governor Gretchen Whitmer as she works to fulfill one of her biggest campaign promises: fixing Michigan’s roads.

A newly-released poll from the Marketing Resource Group found that 75 percent of voters are against Whitmer’s proposed 45-cent gas tax increase. That’s consistent across demographics and political groups. And most people in that survey don’t want to take money away from schools to help fix the roads.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor says the state needs to help its cities to find more solutions.

“Lansing residents put in a lot of money towards their roads,” Schor said. “But we need more from the state and solutions, and right now the governor’s the only one who’s got one.”

But after breaking down multiple alternatives step by step with the Center for Michigan, a crowd of concerned citizens voted exactly the opposite. Roughly 73 percent were actually in favor of the gas tax when it was all said and done. And they also said they’d be willing to pay an additional $300 every year for road repairs.

But everyone, including Mayor Schor, said it’ll take more than one solution to fix the roads. 

“If it’s not a 45-cent increase to raise $2.5 billion then there’s some piece of that,” Schor said. “Where do we find the money? Where does it come from? How do we fix the roads?”

“I think bonding could jump-start our repair of our infrastructure,” survey participant Dale Moretz said. “But that has to be…that has to be connected to increased taxes to pay those bonds and to further invest in our infrastructure.”

Those same voters from the Center for Michigan survey also say that whatever solutions officials choose should be put into action as quickly as possible.

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