(02/08/13) - Gov. Rick Snyder made Flint his first stop on his tour to promote
his new budget proposal.
Thursday, he rolled out a plan to invest more than $1 billion in the state's transportation infrastructure. But that money will likely come from driver's pocket books.
Gov. Snyder says the investment will provide several benefits. It's meant to save Michigan residents money, create jobs, and save lives.
"I have been on a lot of roads along Michigan and they need a lot of help," Gov. Snyder said.
In a one on one interview with ABC12 News, Gov. Snyder talked candidly about Michigan's infrastructure. He wants to invest $1.2 billion to repair Michigan roads and bridges. One of Snyder's proposals is to raise the fuel tax from 19 cents to 33 cents.
"If you put it in the gas tax, it will really be based on, if you drive a lot, you'll pay more. If you don't drive, you won't pay anything. If you use mass transit for example, it doesn't cost you anything," he said.
Snyder also wants to up the cost of driver registration fees, or what he likes to call "user fees".
"If you have a luxury vehicle, a high prices vehicle, you'll pay more. If you have a low value vehicle, you'll pay a lot less. It does really correlate to the miles you drive or the value of your vehicle," he said.
Snyder touted his budget plan in Flint Friday at the Genesee Regional Chamber. Rep. Woodrow Stanley agrees with the Governor's road assessment, but they differ on how the state should fund the repairs.
"I think there needs to be a full, broad, robust discussion of every option, put them all on the table. At this point, I'm not going to weigh in on which is better, we have to be honest and objective and keep in mind citizens are the ones who pick up the tab," Rep. Stanley said.
Snyder says major trunk lines and commercial thoroughfares will take top priority. But those who live in the rural areas want to see some improvement too.
"You have to drive through my local roads to the expressways. We are the area where everybody lives so that needs consideration," said Robert Cole, Argentine Supervisor. "I drive one of those big 'ol monsters and I'll pay $120 a year. It's gotta come from somewhere and if this is a mechanism we are going to use to do it, as long as they fix the roads with it then I can put up to it."
The legislature is expected to take up the Governor's proposal soon.
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