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Whitmer wants a hefty gas tax increase to fix state’s roads

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants to increase the state’s fuel tax to around 70 cents per gallon by October of 20-20.

Whitmer presented the idea as part of her first budget proposal.

Governor Whitmer says this plan would raise the amount of money necessary to maintain and improve Michigan’s roads. Along with her fuel tax proposal, Whitmer says the state should also get rid of the pension tax and double the earned income tax credit to help low income people offset the financial strain.

Whitmer says Michigan residents are already paying a road tax – in the form of flat tires and other car problems caused by the state’s pothole ridden roads.

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“And this is the worst kind of road tax you can pay because it doesn’t actually fix the roads.”

Whitmer says, once fully implemented, her plan will raise two-and-a-half (b) billion dollars in new, annual money for the roads.

Opponents say this is too much for most people to have to pay. Whitmer’s Budget Director, Chris Kolb says this is the best way to get the necessary money to fix the roads.

“There’s a fairness to it. The more you drive, the more you pay.”

The plan may hit a roadblock in the form of the Republican controlled Legislature. Senator Wayne Schmidt is on the Senate appropriations committee. He says he’s going to wait and get more details before deciding if he’s on board.

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“I think certainly it’s a starting point. It’s the governor’s first budget… go big or go home, certainly a lot bigger than I originally anticipated.”

Whitmer says she is open to other ideas, but she says the state needs more than 2 billion dollars a year to improve the roads.