Posts Tagged ‘MAC’

In a guest commentary Sept. 5 on MLive.com, MAC’s incoming president, Allegan County Commissioner Jon Campbell, issues an alert to Michigan residents about the court funding crisis created by the Cunningham ruling: “Legislators will have a full agenda in September; however, a permanent, stable, fair fix to court funding has to be at the top of the list.” The chart below shows the annual projected impact of the ruling, if it is not changed, for several counties across the state that responded to a MAC survey. court cost chart*Circuit court costs only    
Trunkline conditions chart 9-2-14Why is MAC pushing so hard to get the Legislature to provide a statewide vote on a 1-cent sales tax for transportation? Take a look at the chart above, particularly the dotted portion of the green line. Trunkline roads are transportation speak for main roads. These are the roadways that carry our commerce, our schoolchildren, our work force and our emergency vehicles. If your main roads are bad, expect life to be harder all the way around. And while the vast majority of Michigan’s trunkline roads are deemed in good shape today, the trend is ominous indeed, according to the state Transportation Department. By the end of this decade, fewer than half of such roads would be in good or fair shape, if additional resources are not found. County and local road officials can work as hard as they can and be as clever as possible to stretch a dollar to fix local roads, but that work will mean much less if the major roads aren’t maintained. The MAC Board of Directors, aware of these trends, voted at the beginning of the year to have MAC staffers make the case for a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax – a penny for the roads – to generate vital new dollars. See more about the importance and condition of Michigan roads at http://milocalroads.com/ .

tunnelLearn about cutting-edge techniques in chip sealing, remote sensing and more at the 2014 Asset Management Conference on Oct. 23 at the Holiday Inn in Marquette.

“The Leading Edge of Asset Management” is the theme for conference. The goal is to provide “each attendee with examples of state of the art technology fused with practical techniques related to the application of asset management at the national, state and local levels.” It is sponsored by the Transportation Asset Management Council, of which MAC is a member.

With the road funding debate ongoing, and the upcoming winter expected to be tough,  public officials in charge of roads need all the tips and innovations they can get.

Deadline to register is Oct. 8. See the brochure for full details.

pothole picA 1-cent sales tax increase is the best way to address Michigan’s “embarrassing” roads, MAC Deputy Director Steve Currie told the audience of “The Big Show” on Wednesday.

Currie, continuing MAC’s push to get action on the state’s crumbling road network, explained that MAC’s Board of Directors had reviewed the situation nearly a year ago and determined that a 1-cent sales tax – a penny for a road, if you will – is the best available option.

Unlike other proposed fixes, the sales tax increase will consistently generate the substantial sums Michigan needs – and it requires a statewide vote of the people.

“Let the people decide,” Currie told guest host Kyle Melinn of MIRS News Service.

Currie also noted that the state is working at cross purposes if it continues to attract visitors via the highly successful Pure Michigan ad campaign, but then confronts said guests with crummy roads to travel on.

 

In an extensive interview with Gongwer News Service Monday, MAC Deputy Director Steve Currie said that recent events boost the idea of having voters approve a 1-cent sales tax increase to rescue Michigan’s crumbling roads.

Steve Currie

Steve Currie

“Mr. Currie said following the severe winter that wreaked massive damage to the roads, the flooding that struck the Detroit area and the approval of the local tax proposals, the public seems ready to accept a tax increase to deal with roads,” Gongwer reported.

“Increasing taxes on fuel seems a long-term losing proposition since drivers are trying to use less fuel, Mr. Currie said.

“He said the group’s members support the proposed increase and the time seems opportune to encourage public support for a proposed sales tax increase.”

MAC made increased road funding via a sales-tax increase as one of its 2014 legislative priorities and the MAC Legislative Team is readying for a strong push for action in September.

MAC members can review the 2014 priorities and stay up-to-date on all legislative events in Lansing by accessing the members-only section of the MAC website.

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