It took a long while for Michigan lawmakers to pass a highway-funding bill, and it will take a little more time before it fully kicks in. However, the state House of Representatives and Senate agreed on a deal by the narrowest of margins. The Senate passed the measure, which will generate $1.2 billion in 2021, by a 20-18 count, while the House moved it following a 55-52 tally.
Michigan motorists will pay about $20 more in vehicle registration fees and there will be a 7.3-cent fuel-tax increase. Another $1.75 billion will come from the state’s general fund. The plan will be gradually phased in over the next five years—from $452 million in 2017 to as much as $1.2 billion in 2021.
“If you look back in history, this is the largest investment in transportation over the last 50 years in terms of revenues coming in for roads,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “This will lead to safer and better roads in our state and it does it in a fiscally responsible way.”
A Road Innovation Task Force also will be created to examine road materials and processes that could help the Michigan Department of Transportation. Money will be put in a “lockbox” that will be used to build 50-year roads.