By Carson K
On New Year’s Day, the State of Michigan increased the state gas tax from 19 cents per gallon to 26.3 cents per gallon, placing it among the top five highest state gas taxes in the country.
This increase is the first in over 20 years and is a part of the state’s plan to improve conditions of the notoriously bad Michigan roads. The plan is aimed to raise $1.2 Billion and Governor Rick Snyder says it’s the largest state investment in our transportation system in over half a century. With the federal gas tax combined, it will now cost Michiganders 37.8 cents per gallon according to the Tax Foundation.
While the program’s intent was meant to address some of the concerns of the people living in Michigan, many feel that the tax increase is creating more harm than benefit for the working men and women in the state. Sophomore Robert Wisniewski said, “As someone who has just recently started driving, this is something that I’ll have to learn to deal with. Still though, I don’t see how this increase is doing anything other than hurting taxpayers.” Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. of East Lansing agrees with these views, telling the Detroit Free Press, “I want to fix the roads as much as all of you. I’m more than willing to sit down and find a solution, we can’t fill potholes on the backs of working men and women.” However, those favoring the change continue to believe that the increase was a necessary and proper action towards internal improvements within Michigan.
As more information on the matter continues to be revealed over the nature and long term goals for this program, only time will tell the effectiveness of the sudden tax increase.