06May Rep. Hall: Working toward a real solution for Michigan’s roads This article ran in the May 4, 2019 edition of the Marshall Advisor & Chronicle. You may view it here. Categories: Hall News,News (Rep. Matt Hall represents the 63rd District in the Michigan House.) There is one topic I hear more about than any other when I talk with residents of Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s misguided proposal to raise the gasoline tax by 45 cents per gallon.Residents are rightfully upset. As your representative in the Michigan House, I’m upset too.People always tell me they want a government that is more efficient, effective and accountable. But the governor’s proposed gas tax increase is none of those things. It’s irresponsible and lazy.This article ran in the May 4, 2019 edition of the Marshall Advisor & Chronicle. First, it’s important to note the state already raised the gasoline tax and vehicle registration fees to put more money toward roads. This plan – approved in 2015 – will be not be fully phased in until 2021.The governor’s additional proposed increase would make Michigan’s gasoline tax the highest in the country – by far. Her increase alone would add nearly $7 to the price of every fill-up. Yet, the governor failed to propose any reforms or accountability measures to ensure that Michiganders receive better value for their tax dollars spent on roads and bridges.The governor’s proposal would steer new tax dollars toward Michigan’s “most heavily traveled” roads. Based on available information, this means the higher taxes would be overwhelming weighted toward repairing roads in Metro Detroit.Every person in Michigan deserves better roads, not just the residents of Metro Detroit.Our elected leaders must work together on a plan to fix our local and county roads – in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties, and elsewhere. We should not be pitting rural communities against cities. We are one state, and we need a solution that benefits all Michigan communities.Another important issue: Gov. Whitmer’s proposed tax increase goes beyond roads. The proposal would take another $2.5 billion of your money in taxes, but only $1.9 billion would go to roads and bridges. She wants to spend the remaining $600 million on growing other government programs that don’t have anything to do with roads.Michiganders already pay a tax at the pump that doesn’t go toward roads – the state’s 6 percent sales tax. It’s just common sense that all of the money collected in taxes at the pump – every single penny – should go to fixing our roads and bridges. If gasoline were priced at $2.50 per gallon, taking the sales tax and applying it directly to roads would put 15 cents more per gallon toward repairs – without raising taxes.I am willing to work with Gov. Whitmer and other legislators to fix the roads, but I need to see a real plan first. Raising the gasoline tax by 45 cents a gallon is not a real plan. It would hurt Michigan families and seniors who are already paying higher taxes and vehicle registration fees without all of the money going to fix roads and bridges.That’s why I am opposed to her proposal, and I am working to find a better solution for the Kalamazoo-Calhoun county region and all of Michigan.