Editorial: Gas prices keeping road repairs to a minimum

A supplemental appropriations package passed by the Michigan Legislature this week will provide $215 million for priority road projects and winter maintenance – certainly a welcome short-term benefit for motorists dodging potholes right now.

While Gov. Rick Snyder complimented legislators for providing the funds for immediate road repairs, he pointed out this is but a short-term solution.

“Michigan still very much needs a comprehensive long-term solution to fix our state’s aging roads and bridges.”

True, but just like Alpena’s water rates – most people agree funds are needed, but differ as to how, or how much, to raise them. That is especially true in this election year.

In the case of Michigan’s roads, we believe the real culprit is the price of gasoline in the state, and the dependence of state officials on the gas tax to generate the revenue. With gas jumping almost another 20 cents a gallon this week to just below the $4 mark, it highlights the frustration of motorists toward anything even remotely associated with gas.

State officials need to revamp the gas tax and start over with something different to raise revenue for road repairs and improvements. Until they do, the state is stuck in neutral – the motor is running but the vehicle is going nowhere.