LANSING – House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) and  House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Democratic Vice Chairwoman state Representative Marilyn Lane (D-Fraser) said today that Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter’s (R-Mt. Pleasant) plan to fix the roads relying on tax changes and future revenue growth is, at best, a Band-Aid approach that won’t guarantee that roads will be repaired or maintained now or in the future.

“Relying on imagined future revenue growth is not a long-term solution that will take us into the future with a solid financial plan to fix and maintain our roads,” said Greimel. “Raising taxes on working families by eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit, while not asking corporations who’ve seen billions of dollars in tax cuts to make a contribution, is a slap in the face to Michigan residents.”

The Speaker released the House Republican plan today that raises funds to fix the roads by raising taxes on middle-class families, smoke and mirror Enron-like accounting gimmicks and hundreds of millions of dollars in budget shifting that will result in cuts to education, healthcare and public safety. After voters rejected Proposal 1, pollsters found that they were not willing to take funding away from schools, health care or local governments to fix the roads.

“When Michiganders rejected Proposal 1, they told us that they want a carefully constructed plan dedicated to fixing and maintaining our roads,” said Lane. “Speaker Cotter’s plan won’t sustain our roads into the future. Even Governor Snyder knows we need over $1 billion annually in new revenue to fix the roads. The Speaker’s proposal of using tax changes and relying on future revenues simply will not work without cutting essential services.” 

Last year, Governor Rick Snyder rejected former House Speaker Jase Bolger’s plan that pulled money from K-12 schools and local governments to fund the roads and relied on future revenue growth to make up those lost funds.

House Democrats say that they are operating under three principles when it comes to finding a long-term roads solution:

  • Principle 1: Michigan residents have sacrificed enough and it is time for corporations and others at the top of the economic ladder to contribute to the solution.
  • Principle 2: Public education, health care and local government services – such as police and fire protection – should not be on the chopping block. Cuts to these areas unfairly impact residents and give corporations a pass on contributing to the solution.
  • Principle 3: Any solution must be long-term and not waste taxpayer resources on gimmicks and smoke-and-mirror funding games.

House Democrats called on legislators last week to take immediate action to minimize future damage to roads by passing Lane’s House Bill 4257, to lower truck weight limits from 164,000 pounds to the federal limit of 80,000 pounds.