U.P. Reps react to passed road funding legislation

LANSING, MI — A series of bills with a price tag of $1.2 billion to fix the state’s roads was passed in the Michigan House late Wednesday night.

The legislation, which is a series of nine different bills, now heads to the Michigan Senate for consideration. In order to fund the bill, $600 million would come from the state’s general fund and the other $600 million would be generated by an increase of state registration fees and fuel taxes.

These measures would be implemented into the state’s budget by the 2021 fiscal year. State Rep. Ed McBroom says that he is optimistic that the bills will pass in the senate.

“I think that it showed a lot of compromise that folks have been asking for,” said McBroom. “People keep on saying that we have to dedicate money we have to roads and if there’s going to be additional revenue, it’s got to be directed to roads and not be frittered away to other things.

“This plan does this,” added McBroom. “This plan is phased in over several years, but some of the additional new revenue that goes directly to roads comes in on the front end of the plan.”

While McBroom voted for the road-funding plan, State Rep. John Kivela voted against the funding measures. Kivela says that the plan unfairly raises fees and taxes.

“Registration fees are going to go up 40%, that’s significant,” said Kivela. “The gas tax goes up a little bit, but not much. The reason for that is a lot of republicans have taken this no tax pledge, so they can raise a fee and not get nicked for that but if they raise a tax they get dinged. At the end of the day to me this was let’s pass a plan, kick it back to the senate because we don’t have the votes over here to do the right thing.”

The road funding bills do include two tax relief components, an income tax rollback and a property tax credit.