LANSING — State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) voted no on a House and Senate Republican-backed roads plan because it favors the wealthy and leaves working families, particularly in the U.P., to pay disproportionately more in fees and taxes.
“The increases in the gas tax and registration fees are going to hit my constituents hardest,” said Dianda. “Seniors living on fixed incomes will have a hard time paying more to get their registration and license plates renewed. U.P. residents drive farther to work and school, so an increase in the gas tax is going to hit them harder.”
The Republican-approved plan:
- Fails to identify where $800 million in funding cuts will be made, and fails to guarantee that public safety, education and health care funding will be protected.
- Offers income tax breaks targeted at helping millionaires and billionaires, while leaving regular working families to shoulder the burden of program cuts and road funding.
- Will only generate $452 million of the $1.2 billion needed annually for road funding in the first year, and $608 million in the second year, and won’t reach $1.2 billion in annual funds until fiscal year 2021 – meaning Michigan’s roads will continue to deteriorate for years to come.
“I can’t support a plan that gives a blank check funded by the taxpayers to the Michigan Department of Transportation until there is new management,” said Dianda. “MDOT hasn’t shown that it is spending our money wisely now. To give them billions of dollars more without significant change is just madness.”
The bills now head to Gov. Rick Snyder, who is expected to sign them into law.
“This plan blows a huge hole into funding for public safety, education and health care — services that our communities and families rely on,” said Dianda. “And it also wrecks family budgets, leaving them with less money to stretch to pay their bills or buy gas so they can get to work and school. Republicans shouldn’t be congratulating themselves on passing a good roads plan, because that’s not what they gave us here tonight.”