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Sen. John Proos: Governor signs reform to fix roads without tax hike

Published 8:51pm Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Southwest Michigan families and job providers are already paying enough at the gas pump.

Legislation to enable Michigan to maintain and improve its roads and bridges — without raising taxes — has been signed into law by the governor.

Our state struggles every year to identify enough dollars to qualify for federal matching transportation funds.

I sponsored this reform to fix that problem by dedicating $100 million already paid by consumers at the pump and investing it in our roads.

With a federal matching rate of roughly 4 to 1, it means about $400 million in road funding.
Motor fuel in Michigan is currently taxed in three ways. The first two means are the federal and state per-gallon fuel taxes, with revenues restricted to transportation.

The third method is applying the state’s 6 percent sales tax to the fuel wholesale price. More than 80 percent of this revenue is constitutionally earmarked.

The new law directs $100 million of the additional funds to be used to provide the funding necessary to insure our roads are safe and protect drivers from costly car repairs.

To further help travelers, I also encourage residents to follow fuel saving tips, use tools to find the lowest gas prices and report price gouging to the Michigan attorney general.

For up-to-the-minute listings of the lowest gas prices in Michigan, visit www.michigangasprices.com.

Residents may report price-fixing or gas-gouging to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling (877) 765-8388 or by visiting its website at www.michigan.gov/ag.

Under the “Consumer Protection” tab on the attorney general website is a link to “Gas Prices,” which offers information on prices, fuel saving tips, travel tools and more.

As families plan to head out on the road for that Pure Michigan summer trip, the cost of gas is a huge issue. Thankfullythere are great tools online to find the best price.

It is also important to keep the price low by using fuel-saving tips and reporting gas price gouging. Taking advantage of consumers is never acceptable. If you see gouging, please report it.

Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien and Cass counties and most of Van Buren County.

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