Michigan's crumbling roads and bridges

Kelly Perez's picture

If you have ever driven on Michigan roads, you know how horrible they are. 20% of roads maintained by the state are in terrible condition, and 46% are projected to be worse by 2020. Bridges are also expected to get 50% worse by 2023. Drivers are constantly having to repair their tires and cars, due to enourmous potholes.

Despite increased funding, specifically $1.2 billion, dedicated towards fixing Michigan bridges and roads, there is still not enough to completely stop the decaying of roads. There are just too many problem roads for the state to currently afford to fix.

It seems the current method for funding fixing roads is failing. In 2015, a bill was passed that raised taxes and fees to own a car. Corporations did not have to contribute, aside from a gas tax. In January of this year, the state gasoline tax rose by 7.3 cents and vehicle registration fees increased by 20%. These funds are going to be used towards road construction. This puts all of the road construction on taxpayers, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet. And at the end of the day, this still is not enough money to fully fix highways and roads. There are critics and supporters of this current plan, with some people saying it is a good enough start, and others saying it is not enough.

So, my questions for the caucus are: how should roads be funded? Are the current efforts of drawing from taxpayers and government budgets good enough? Should corporations contribute more to the funds? If the current plan is not good enough, what should be done to fix this problem?