Road Funding Town Hall Meeting

Many Michigan residents have complained for years about the poor quality of the state’s roads.

State Senator Tom Casperson of Escanaba hosted a town hall meeting in Marquette this morning about road funding.

Michigan college students recently analyzed road funding issues as part of a scholarship competition.

Casperson chairs the state Senate Transportation Committee, and the committee has held hearings to discuss the students’ findings.

He says the next step is to stimulate discussion among the community as a whole, since road funding issues in Michigan have been present for decades and aren’t going away.

Only half the state’s total revenue from the 19-cent-per-gallon gas tax and the 6% sales tax on gasoline are devoted to roads.

Casperson says none of the revenue from the sales tax goes to roads — two-thirds of that money is earmarked for schools under the state constitution.

He and supporters say recent proposals to raise both the gas tax and auto registration rates will save people money over time.

They say drivers would save money in two ways.

The college students found driving on poor roads costs the average vehicle owner $370 per year in unnecessary repairs.

Car and truck owners wouldn’t have to spend that money.

The other way derives from other findings the students came up with — better roads prolong the life of a vehicle by 10% and slows vehicle depreciation.

Posted by: Mike Hoey