LANSING — Michigan House Democrats introduced a package of bills today aimed at helping Michigan drivers better afford car repairs. The legislation would create refundable tax credits for vehicle damage caused by Michigan’s poor road conditions.

“For the majority of Michiganders, our state’s dangerous roads take a toll not only on them, but on their pocketbooks as well,” said state Rep. Adam Zemke. “If Republican leadership in Lansing refuses to fix our roads, then House Democrats are going to do all we can to give Michigan drivers some much-needed relief.”

Over the years, the Snyder-Schuette administration’s failure to properly prioritize road funding costs, in addition to the failed 2015 Republican road funding plan, have in part contributed to the state’s crumbling and dangerous road conditions. According to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, only 18.9 percent of the roads in southeast Michigan are considered to be in good condition today.

This year, vehicle damage due to potholes in the roads has skyrocketed: AAA reported a 36 percent increase in emergency road service calls in February and March 2018 compared to 2017. Pothole damage typically costs Michigan drivers up to $1,000 to fix, leaving many struggling to afford much-needed repairs.

“For too long, Michigan Republicans have refused to properly prioritize funding for our state’s infrastructure, instead choosing to impose a Republican pothole tax on Michigan drivers,” said state Rep. Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills). “Our bills can’t make Lansing Republicans finally fix the roads, but they can help men and women throughout our state keep more of their hard-earned money.”

The three-bill package will create a series of refundable tax credits to help drivers afford vehicle repairs. The bills in the package would do the following:

  • House Bill 5969: Create a refundable tax credit for expenses incurred as a result of vehicle body damage caused by poor road conditions. (Rep. Zemke)
  • HB 5970: Create a refundable tax credit for expenses incurred as a result of suspension damage caused by poor road conditions. (Rep. Greimel)
  • HB 5971: Create a refundable tax credit for expenses incurred as a result of tire repair or replacement caused by poor road conditions. (Rep. Dianda)

“Working people throughout the state already struggle to put food on the table, fill up their gas tank and afford live-saving medications — they shouldn’t have to take on more financial burdens because Republicans in Lansing won’t fix our roads,” said state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet). “These bills are a common-sense solution to help Michigan drivers keep more of their money, and we hope our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will agree.”