Mich. governor wants to overhaul road-funding formula

Snyder also wants to see competitive bidding for road maintenance

Funding News Lansing State Journal October 27, 2011
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We are not talking the new Coke here, but Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is eager to tinker with the formula that seems to be failing.

On Oct. 26, Snyder called for a complete overhaul in the way Michigan charges motorists  for road and bridge construction and how that money is spent.

Currently, 39% of state and federal funding goes to state projects, while another 39% goes to county commissions and 22% for cities and towns. Snyder would like to see the infrastructure that receives the most punishment from traffic to receive more funding, and also wants the money that goes to about 100 small localities to land in the hands of the counties that house them.

“We need to find revenue sources to generate $1 billion to $1.4 billion a year for our roads and bridges,” said Snyder. “We’ve ignored this for far too long.

“The highways and bridges that serve the most traffic should see the greatest new investment.”

Studies have revealed that Michigan will need at least $3 billion annually to improve its road and bridge network. Motorists currently pay a 19-cents-per-gallon state gas tax (15 cents a gallon for diesel), and Snyder believes that should be replaced with a 6.7% tax on the wholesale price of fuel. The move could generate $965 million a year as well as serve as a more consistent source of revenue. Snyder also suggested bumping up the fee for vehicle registrations, which would produce another $1 billion in new revenue.

Under the new strategy, local governments also might be able to ask voters for another $40 a year to handle road maintenance, a task that could be open to competitive bidding if Snyder has his way.

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