Tag Archives: roads

Ballot campaign aims to boost business tax for roads

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A union-led petition drive is trying to increase the state’s Corporate Income Tax rate from 6 percent to 11 percent. The revenue would be used to fix roads.

Increasing the rate by 5 percentage points would generate about $900 million a year toward Governor Rick Snyder’s goal of $1.2 billion in new revenue for road repairs. It would also be a major change to the 2011 business tax overhaul engineered by Snyder and Republicans in the Legislature. Continue reading

Snyder still confident of road deal in 2015

Governor Rick Snyder press event at M-10 and LTU to Fix the Roads.

Governor Rick Snyder says he hasn’t given up on getting a deal for more than a $1 billion dollars in new road revenue through the Legislature. Lawmakers adjourned this week without voting on a roads package.

But, at an event in Detroit, the governor said he’s still confident a deal can come together in 2015. Continue reading

Representatives leave Lansing for the week with no road funding compromise

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There’s no road funding deal to speak of as state representatives leave Lansing for the week. That means a vote on any plan will have to wait until next week – and possibly until the fall.

It appears Republicans in the state House remain divided on whether a gas tax increase should be part of any plan to boost road funding. Continue reading

State House leaders try to cobble together Republican votes for road funding plan

bad-yellow-line-roadjpg-55a2be0a87eeea1d_largeGOP leaders in the state House are working to assemble enough Republican votes to pass a road funding plan that’s likely to raise taxes.

House Republicans met on Tuesday to review a Senate-approved plan that raises the state’s gas tax by 15 cents over three years. Continue reading

State House returns from summer break to take up road funding debate

Capital_Building_LansingThe state House briefly returns from its summer break this week to take up the debate over road funding. It will consider a state Senate plan that differs widely from the plan the House approved last month.

A key difference is that the Senate plan raises the gas tax by 15 cents over three years. The House plan relies mostly on existing revenues. Continue reading

As state House gets set to take up roads, Dem leader criticizes Senate plan

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Democrats in the state Legislature are criticizing Republican plans to boost road funding. That’s as the House gets set to take up the debate next week.

The state Senate approved a plan last week that would boost the gas tax by 15 cents a gallon over three years and shift $700 million from other areas of the budget. It also includes a possible rollback in the state income tax rate. Continue reading

Snyder signs new budget, remains optimistic about road deal

Governor Rick Snyder has signed the new 54-billion dollar state budget. It has money for roads, schools, prisons, and healthcare. But a solution on funding road repairs remains elusive.

Governor Snyder says voters sent a message when they rejected Proposal One last month, and that was for the state to come up with the money to fix roads. The new budget has some stop-gap funding, but falls far short of the 1.2 billion dollars in new revenue that he’s called for. Continue reading

$1 billion dollar road funding proposal clears state House

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A plan to boost road funding by about a billion dollars a year has cleared the state House. The Republican proposal relies mostly on shifting existing funds in the state budget instead of significantly raising taxes.

State House Speaker Kevin Cotter unveiled the plan after the historic failure of Proposal One. He says voters want the Legislature to prioritize existing revenues to help fix the roads. Continue reading

State House nearing vote on road funding proposal

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Republican leaders in the state House hope to hold a vote Wednesday on their proposal to boost road funding by about $1 billion a year.

New money for roads would mostly come from projected revenue increases over the next few years and by shifting existing funds in the state budget. Continue reading

Lawmakers eye electric vehicles for road money

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Republican state lawmakers are looking to drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles as a potential source of more road funds. But environmental groups say now is not the time to make alternative fuel cars more expensive.

Electric and hybrid vehicles are already more expensive than fossil-fuel-powered cars and trucks, which also means higher sales taxes and registration fees. Continue reading

House committee begins road funding hearings

A special state House committee has begun deliberations on how to find more than $1 billion for roads and transportation. That’s after voters overwhelmingly said “no” to the Legislature’s last plan on the May ballot.

House Republican leaders say they want a solution in hand in less than a month. They say the plan is to search for savings and efficiencies before tackling the tougher questions about raising revenue. Continue reading

Snyder, lawmakers sort through Proposal 1 wreckage

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Voters said no Tuesday to Proposal One by a margin of almost four-to-one. But, as unhappy as people were with the ballot question, they’re still unhappy with the state of Michigan’s roads. So Governor Rick Snyder and lawmakers say they’ll go back to work on finding money for roads – and they will heed the lessons of Proposal One. Continue reading

Audit slams MDOT over road warranties

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A new report from the state auditor general takes the Michigan Department of Transportation to task. The report examines a warranty program to hold construction companies responsible for the quality of the roads they build. It says the state doesn’t follow up often enough with contractors to ensure problems are fixed. Continue reading

Experts urge safe driving with extreme cold temperatures

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It isn’t only snow and ice that can pose risks to Michigan drivers during the winter, but also brutally cold temperatures. When temperatures dip below zero as they have in recent days, Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs with AAA, said drivers should never hit the road with a tank that’s close to empty.

“Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car at all times during cold weather to avoid engine freeze-up,” Jarmusz said. “That way, if you do get stranded, you have enough gas to periodically run the engine to keep the car warmed up.”

In addition, Jarmusz said it’s best to check your vehicle’s battery before a cold spell. Faulty batteries cause more car-starting problems than any other factor. He said, at zero degrees, even a good battery has about 35 percent less starting power.

If a car is to break down, state courtesy vans and police are often on the lookout for stranded drivers. If your car freezes up or breaks down, or if you get in a wreck, Jarmusz strongly recommends staying with your vehicle.

“If you start venturing away from your car, the elements are going to be a bigger danger to you than if you were to stay and wait,” he said. “If you’re on a road you can either flag down help or wait for an emergency vehicle. If you have your cell phone, you can call for help.”

Perhaps most importantly, Jarmusz said, is to take precautions before even beginning a drive. When roads are slippery, he said, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive can help a great deal to get a vehicle going – but once it’s at cruising speed, they do nothing to help you slow down or stop. Also, he said “no” to cruise control on snowy or slippery roads.

“It maintains a specific speed, and if you begin to slide, the vehicle is going to want to keep the wheels spinning at the same rate, in order to maintain the same speed,” says Jarmusz. “What it’s going to do is contribute to loss of control, and if you run into a less-traction situation, the wheels are going to keep spinning.”

If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, he said applying constant, firm pressure is best to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop under slippery conditions.