Time for creative ways to fund road repairs

It’s time those wanting road repairs in Michigan stop advocating for an increase in the state gas tax and instead offer other alternatives to get the job accomplished.

Yet again it would seem the message is loud and clear regarding that approach – no one has the stomach for a tax increase.

This week the Michigan Senate failed to come to any agreement regarding road improvements. Since the legislature adjourned for much of the rest of the summer, any action now couldn’t come until late August.

No sooner had the legislature adjourned than finger pointing and political barbs began flowing back and forth between Democrats and Republicans.

“It’s not like we haven’t known for the past three years that Michigan’s roads were in terrible condition, so I’m curious as to why Gov. (Rick) Snyder and Republican leadership waited until the last minute to address our road funding issue,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan.

The governor issued this statement:”I remain committed as ever toward finding solutions to Michigan’s infrastructure repair needs. As I’ve said for some time, we need a sustainable, long-term approach toward improving our crumbling roads and bridges. Our challenge moving forward is to arrive – together – on a plan that will serve Michigan long into the future.”

It has been made clear to legislators for several years now Michigan residents do not want more taxes, particularly the gas tax which many see as an extension of their pain in the wallet with $4 a gallon gas prices. During this time we have advocated time and time again that the gas tax is not the answer for road funding – that it would have to come from other means, with new solutions.

No one would argue that more road funding is needed. No one would argue repairs need made to highways and bridges.

Instead of constantly looking at the gas tax, however, it’s time for more creative and non-traditional approaches to this problem.