Posts Tagged ‘transportation funding’

transport funds 10-17-14The Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) reiterated today its longstanding support for a statewide vote to increase the sales tax by 1 penny, with all new funds generated dedicated to road work.

Jon Campbell, president of the MAC Board of Directors and an Allegan County commissioner, said in the wake of Tuesday’s defeat of Proposal 1:

“Voters in Michigan are telling public servants three things: They want more money for our crumbling roads. They want a direct, simple plan. They want to ensure new revenue is dedicated to roads.

“More than a year ago, the MAC Board of Directors decided the best plan for our state was a 1-penny increase in the sales tax dedicated to roads. We still see it as a simple, direct approach that raises the funds to address the crisis. And, based on the EPIC-MRA poll results released May 5, nearly two-thirds of voters would support it.

“Our membership, 622 county commissioners across the state, is eager to work with the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder to quickly and decisively handle this challenge.”

transport funds 10-17-14The conventional wisdom in political circles is that a significant increase in transportation funding will be a heavy lift in the upcoming “lame duck” session of the Legislature after the November elections. That CW might explain why, in the words of this slide in August from the House Fiscal Agency, transportation funding has been “relatively flat” since the late 1990s. Meanwhile … “The average Michigander pays $357 annually in unnecessary repairs to their vehicles due to poor roads.” MAC’s position: An additional penny on the state sales tax, dedicated to transportation, is the best way to improve roads.

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.

MAC members in the Upper Peninsula have an excellent opportunity this month to be briefed on a number of key issues affecting county resources and development, from the future of transportation funding to the growing crisis of tax capture districts to disaster relief. MAC logo blueA MAC Regional Summit will be held Aug. 26 in Escanaba at the UPCAP Headquarters, 2501 14th Ave. South. Among the speakers scheduled are MAC President Shelly Pinkelman of Crawford County and MAC Second Vice President Jerry Doucette of Alger County. Click here to register for the summit by Aug. 22. (Note that walk-in registration will be available the day of the summit.) AGENDA MAC Regional Summit – Delta County Tuesday, August 26, 2014 10 a.m. UPCAP Headquarters 2501 14th Ave. South, Escanaba 10 a.m.                       Welcome 10:05 a.m.                  Tax Capture Districts and Their Impact on Counties 11 a.m.                        Disaster Relief Procedures Noon                           Lunch/MAC Legislative Update 1 p.m.                          Local Regional Prosperity Plans 2 p.m.                          The Future of Transportation Funding in Michigan
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