House Democrats Unveil Road Funding Plan

Corporations must pay fair share; families have given enough
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

LANSING – Democrats in the state House announced a plan today that would raise $1.2 billion to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges by requiring corporations pay their fair share in fixing Michigan’s infrastructure. The move takes aim at one of the largest tax shifts in Michigan history, which gave billions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations that were paid for by increasing taxes on Michigan families. 

“Every time Michigan faces a problem, Republicans have forced everyday families to pay the price while giving corporations tax break after tax break. That’s wrong,” said House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills). “Our plan fixes Michigan’s roads and bridges by requiring that corporations pay their fair share.”

Since 2011, Republicans orchestrated one of the largest tax shifts in Michigan history, giving corporations nearly $2 billion in tax cuts each year while Michigan families were forced to pay $1.6 billion more to finance it. Michigan corporations are paying less to the state than just about any other time. In fiscal year 2014, Michigan collected over 50 times more from individual income taxes than from business income taxes, shifting the burden of funding roads, schools and other essential programs onto the backs of hardworking Michigan families.

“It’s wrong of Republicans to demand more sacrifice from families that have seen declining wages, benefit cuts and large tax increases, while corporations have seen ever larger profits,” House Democratic Floor Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) said.  “Corporations use our roads and bridges just like Michigan families, and they should not be given a free ride when it comes time to fixing our crumbling infrastructure.”

The House Democratic plan raises $1.2 billion for roads by prioritizing and protecting our roads responsibly with existing funds, instituting vehicle registration reforms and calling on businesses to pay their fair share.

The plan would:

  • Prioritize and protect our roads: $132 million
  • Registration reforms and loophole closures: $113 million
  • Expecting businesses to pay their fair share: $955 million

In contrast to Republican proposals, the Democratic plan does not rely on more tax increases on families and would not eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit. 

“The road funding plans drafted by legislative Republicans have been panned as unworkable by statewide media, transportation analysts and even the governor himself,” said Rep. Marilyn Lane (D-Fraser), Democratic vice chairwoman in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “The House Democrats have created a genuine and comprehensive plan that will put Michigan on the road to a better future and finally fix our highways and bridges without unfairly saddling working families with more taxes. I urge all of my colleagues to support this plan and put it into action.”