Gas-tax increase passes Michigan Senate

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

The Michigan Senate passed a bill last week that could potentially generate around $1 billion a year for the state’s transportation infrastructure.

The measure, which passed in a 23-14 vote, would set the wholesale gasoline tax at 9 percent on April 1, 2015, and increase yet again on Jan. 1, 2018 to 15.5 percent. That means the tax would likely rise around 17 cents a gallon.

It is being reported, however, that if there’s a huge increase at the pump, gas tax would be capped.

The House is now considering the bill, but minor revisions are expected to be made before it’s passed back to the Senate. The current bill would also raise the gas tax on diesel to what motorists pay for regular gasoline, and it would increase fines for overweight trucks.

“These are steps to make Michigan better and stronger,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement after the Senate victory.

Snyder believes the state will need an additional $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion a year to address the state’s infrastructure. Some experts believe Snyder’s numbers are far too generous, and in fact the state will need much more than even $1.4 billion in order to save Michigan’s transportation infrastructure.