Thursday, August 29, 2019

Gov. Whitmer says she's 'not married' to fuel tax increase

Posted By on Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 12:39 PM

click to enlarge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. - TOM PERKINS
  • Tom Perkins
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign promise to “fix the damn roads” has hinged on an unpopular, languishing proposal to increase the fuel tax by 45 cents per gallon.

But Whitmer indicated Wednesday she’s open to other solutions to raise the $2.5 billion that is required to make adequate road repairs.

"I'm not married to a 45-cent gas tax," Whitmer told Crain’s Detroit Business. "I am married to fixing the problem. And until someone comes up with a better idea or gets serious about an alternative and has something substantive to talk about, I'm going to continue to push my solution."

Republicans, who control the Legislature, have complained about the fuel tax increase but have provided no alternatives.

One option, Whitmer suggested, is letting voters decide whether they prefer a higher fuel tax or a sale tax hike.

A state government shutdown is looming if lawmakers can’t adopt a budget by Oct. 1.

On Tuesday, Whitmer pledged to veto any budget proposal that does not include a solution to funding road repairs.

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