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GRDadof3

Should the Michigan Gas Tax be raised?

Should Michigan's Gas Tax be Amended/Raised?   61 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Michigan's Gas Tax be Amended/Raised to a Percentage?

    • Yes, we need the money for roads and bridges
      8
    • Yes, they also should set aside some of this for transit
      32
    • No more taxes, the roads and bridges are fine
      2
    • No, roads are bad but find another way to raise the money
      19

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36 posts in this topic

The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association recommends that Michigan change from a flat $.19/gasoline/$.15 diesel tax to an 18% percent tax on the wholesale price of gasoline per gallon. At $2/gallon, it would represent a increase of about $.09/gallon. At prices of $4/gallon, it would net $.41 more per gallon. They also recommend raising vehicle registration fees by about 50%.

For Kent County alone, it would double the amount of funding the road commission currently gets with gas at $2/gallon.

Without additional funding from the State, Michigan stands to lose about $1 Billion in transportation funding from the Feds (matching).

Good idea? Bad idea? Let the roads obliterate? What do you think?

http://www.mlive.com/grpress/news/index.ss...recommends.html

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I voted yes but apply some of the money to transit.

With that said, I have a couple of points:

1. Our roads are terrible. To my knowledge, this is due to both the climate that we live in and the construction of the roads (materials, etc.). Since we really cannot change the fact that we have big temperature swings in West Michigan, I think that we need to start demanding better constructed roads. For example, after a road hits a certain average/day of vehicles, it should be redone in concrete. While this is more expensive than the black stuff, it also wears better and takes longer to develop potholes. I personally would be willing to pay more if I knew that more concrete would be poured.

2. Money needs to go to transit, period. It is going to need to come from multiple sources. Because, when gas is at $2/gallon, the taxes generated will be less. So to ensure a minimum level that meets our needs, we will need to find more options than just the gas tax.

3. This may be unpopular, but I would like to have it written that businesses that are headquartered in Michigan and have delivery services or semis, etc. can claim up to half of the gas tax back at the end of the year. This way, if gas is $5/gallon, we can mitigate some of their losses. I say this because when gas was up over $4/gallon, many of my clients were unable to afford the shipping costs.

4. Maybe not with the gas tax, but we need to improve the railroad infrastructure, especially as more and more businesses turn to this option for moving freight.

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I say bring on the gas taxes as long as it is offset by increased transit options. I don't want to see the extra money dumped into an aging infrastructure (roads & highways) when we need to be focusing on alternative transportation

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I also voted for increased gas tax with transit funding. Individual cars are required to get around for most people now, but "happy motoring" will be impractical in the future. We need to start preparing for the future now. I don't believe any alternative fuel will be a full replacement for gasoline, so trips by car will be shorter, less frequent, and more expensive.

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I also voted yes. Remember how we got along when gas was $3/gallon? Besides, transit needs all the help it can get. I also have a brother who manages construction for MDOT and they can definitely use the $$$. Although MDOT does get like 13 holidays year....

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A note on Construction with Cement. West Michigan from what I been told from a VERY Reliable source only has one cement contractor. Detroit has 3. As a result for bidding its a lot easier to get folks around here to go with asphalt since most of the time the Detroit folks do not want to come over on the west side for projects if they do not have to. The 28th St fix that was funded partially by MDot was an exception but frankly I tend to think for most cities getting a cement contractor to pave roads is very difficult. Now if we could get 2 more contractors to come over on this side of the state we could see some improvement in bidding. But until that happens we will stuck with asphalt for most resurfacing and construction.

BTW this discussion came up with the talk of prices for asphalt being at all time highs this summer something on the order of 300% price increases.

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Let's set some of the tax money aside for mass transit. Building reliable mass transit will reduce the need for driving automobiles, reduce energy costs, and reduce wear and tear of existing roads.

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A note on Construction with Cement. West Michigan from what I been told from a VERY Reliable source only has one cement contractor. Detroit has 3. As a result for bidding its a lot easier to get folks around here to go with asphalt since most of the time the Detroit folks do not want to come over on the west side for projects if they do not have to. The 28th St fix that was funded partially by MDot was an exception but frankly I tend to think for most cities getting a cement contractor to pave roads is very difficult. Now if we could get 2 more contractors to come over on this side of the state we could see some improvement in bidding. But until that happens we will stuck with asphalt for most resurfacing and construction.

BTW this discussion came up with the talk of prices for asphalt being at all time highs this summer something on the order of 300% price increases.

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I think that the tax should be raised but not by a percentage. If the price per gallon were kept at 4-5 dollars per gallon people would naturally gravitate towards public transportation, more fuel efficient vehicles, and sprawl would dramatically decrease. you would see even more people interested in living downtown or at least close in to the city which would give new development a large boost. The one caveat I would have with increasing the gas tax would be that the tax increase be offset with decreases in other taxes.

I also agree that in industries that rely on gas (i.e. transportation) that they be exempt from the tax as well as diesel, . they could present a card and the tax is removed or get a rebate at the end of the year. I don't know if the tax has to go directly to mass transit since people would demand funding for it with high gas prices and I wouldn't want the overall tax burden to increase.

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Hmm well I read a press article about on Yahoo a few weeks ago about it. In anycase I think a flat percentage point that makes gasoline (not deisel) enough money to equal the funding we need at 2.00 a gallon at normal driving usage. Diesel can be put at a fixed rate frankly. even though semis harm the roads the most ie one person I talked to in the business of road building said a Semi harms a road at a rate of 1 semi to 10,000 cars or something like that. Needless to say Semis are always going to be around until we get Star Trek Tech ie Transporter beams. By that point we wont need roads hehe.

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I voted NO. I come from northern Michigan, four hours away from here. While I'd love to see streetcars or a subway in Grand Rapids, I don't see any light rail taking me to Presque Isle County any time soon. I had to skip Thanksgiving and Christmas last year because I just couldn't afford the trip, and I have what I'd consider a pretty good job. Luckily I had enough saved up when my grandma got sick, and I was able to go up north to see her.

Believe me, it was pretty scary to realize that if gas was much more expensive, I'd be isolated from my family. I know it had an effect on anyone who had a commute too. I vote for keeping gas cheap.

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The problem with that thought is this. We as a state are not increasing our gasoline usage. It is going down. As a result for us to get full federal funding we either need to use more gasoline or raise the tax. Thats what I take from the previous posts. If you think about it, would it not be nice to have a rail line running from Grand Rapids to Alpena via either Lansing-Saginaw or Traverse City. Frankly I think we are going to in the end have rail lines running all over the place. The key thing is that they will first connect the Major Cities then spurs. I would love to see them connecting Grand Rapids to Detroit via Lansing-Pontiac. A I-94 rail line would be awesome to have that also has a conection with Lansing and Grand Rapids with short spurs.

Think this

Muskegon to Chicago aka US 31 run

Muskegon to Detroit aka I 96 run

Detroit to Chicago aka I 94 run

Detroit to Bay City aka I 75 run

Kalamazoo to Cadiliac or Traverse City aka US 131 run

Maybe Jackson to Mount Pleasent aka US 127 run

The only other run is the I 196 run that would be Holland to Grand Rapids

Thats a map I like to see in some of these cities. The key thing is that we have a lot of this right now. The issue is we need to further the connections even more. The problem is we can not increase our rail connections without raising more money. First we could if we have high rates for the tickets but that wont get people converting long haul rails, what we need is some sort of euro method of using gas to offset the cost. The reason why I do not want Deseil tax increased is that those engines are actually much more efficant than gasoline. So there usage is not hurting us. In anycase thats my thoughts on this.

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I voted NO. I come from northern Michigan, four hours away from here. While I'd love to see streetcars or a subway in Grand Rapids, I don't see any light rail taking me to Presque Isle County any time soon. I had to skip Thanksgiving and Christmas last year because I just couldn't afford the trip, and I have what I'd consider a pretty good job. Luckily I had enough saved up when my grandma got sick, and I was able to go up north to see her.

Believe me, it was pretty scary to realize that if gas was much more expensive, I'd be isolated from my family. I know it had an effect on anyone who had a commute too. I vote for keeping gas cheap.

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Rail to Alpena is great, but it doesn't help me at all. After an eight-hour ride with stops in Big Rapids, Reed City, Cadillac, and west to Traverse City before finally ending up in Alpena, do I then walk the remaining forty miles to my home in Rogers City? I'd rather take my car and do the whole thing in four hours.

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nope its called park and ride. you have a vehicle waiting for you at alpena. btw if you look at my map i do have a rail going to alpena from bay city. so there is always two ways to get somewheres.

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So I would have to buy myself another vehicle and keep it in Alpena? Or call a taxi, or bother a relative. Often I arrive well after my parents' normal bedtime, so I'd be waking them up.

Your proposed Bay City route to Alpena is about the same distance as the Traverse City one - around 270 miles. Amtrak from Chicago to Detroit currently covers 280 miles in 6 hours 35 minutes. With the extra 40-minute drive to Rogers City, that's 7:15. Throw in a ten-minute stop in Alpena to disembark the train and get in my spare car, add time for train changes in Big Rapids and Bay City... and this trip is nearing 8 hours. In my car, with no stops, it's about 3:45.

Like I said, rail to Alpena would be nice, but it just doesn't work for me. Also, it probably wouldn't help anyone in places like Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie, Houghton, Cheboygan, St. Ignace, Petoskey, Escanaba, or even Bad Axe, who have to count on cars to get almost anywhere.

Or we can raise gas prices under the goal of "concentration", relegating places like Rogers City to being small isolated outposts. I know I'd never have been able to survive growing up in Rogers City if I hadn't been able to regularly drive a cheap 40 miles to the nearest music store and movie theater. In fact, Rogers City, with its dwindling job opportunities and no hospital for 40 miles, might not survive that sort of isolation itself.

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Having to lay rail at these distances it's incredibly expensive, especially class track that would allow competitive travel speed. I'd think that cities northward would be better served by express bus.

If you were to do that kind of rail network, it might be advantageous to court car rental business near rail stations in small towns that lack viable pubic transportation.

I think the railroad folks in Ann Arbor are trying to get a passenger train to Traverse City. I'm not sure how successful that will be.

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Or we can raise gas prices under the goal of "concentration", relegating places like Rogers City to being small isolated outposts. I know I'd never have been able to survive growing up in Rogers City if I hadn't been able to regularly drive a cheap 40 miles to the nearest music store and movie theater. In fact, Rogers City, with its dwindling job opportunities and no hospital for 40 miles, might not survive that sort of isolation itself.

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I think we're having the wrong argument here. It shouldn't be people HAVE to use public transit options, but the option is there so people do not NEED a car. Curently, in order to get up north (I grew up in Boyne City, visit 1-2 times a month) the only option I have is a 3 hour drive. If I had the option to sit on a train for 4-5 hours and just have my parents pick me up in Boyne Falls (~6 miles) I would much rather do that. Atleast if I'm on a train I can kick back, relax, read, use my laptop, do anything. Stuck in a car, driving your options are very limited. When you have small kids, being in the middle of no where when they need to go potty, not so much fun. Being able to stand up, walk to the back of the train and be done with it is an amazing option.

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Oh I don't know... a century-old newspaper, monuments to the Cedarville and Carl D. Bradley tragedies, the world's largest limestone quarry, a budding Chinese restaurant, local painters, photographers, writers, documentarians, a lively theatre community, sportsmen, salmon fishermen, sailors, an internationally famous smoked meat market, and my mom and dad might be a little sad to see it go.

And even with five-minute train changes, that's still a 7.5 hour trip - nearly a full day's work. Or, I can use personal transportation and be there in half that time, leave on my own schedule, stop and eat wherever I want, and have a car on hand to drive to the cottage or beach once I arrive. There's really no choice.

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jbr you are correct in my ideas for transit in the state/grand rapids. I dont deny the use of the car in future transit public works but rather I think a need is there for expanding the interstate system in the state. But we need to balance that with better rail service. Its not so much of laying new tracks. We do not need to do that per say but just getting money to amtrack to expand long haul train service in the state. It would really be nice to get the service running from the train station in downtown to Muskegon on the present line that is there. It may need to be refurbished but I think that would be a nice start. Another one is just getting a line running to kalamazoo would also be a good one to have. I think if we can get those two lines done first for West Michigan we can then start looking at deleting some of those land hoarding airports we seem to collect around here. Providing a cheap method for people to get to places is a lot easier IMHO.

BTW does anybody have any comments about my design work. If you do just let me know. I know a handful of you guys have seen it.

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jbr you are correct in my ideas for transit in the state/grand rapids. I dont deny the use of the car in future transit public works but rather I think a need is there for expanding the interstate system in the state. But we need to balance that with better rail service. Its not so much of laying new tracks. We do not need to do that per say but just getting money to amtrack to expand long haul train service in the state. It would really be nice to get the service running from the train station in downtown to Muskegon on the present line that is there. It may need to be refurbished but I think that would be a nice start. Another one is just getting a line running to kalamazoo would also be a good one to have. I think if we can get those two lines done first for West Michigan we can then start looking at deleting some of those land hoarding airports we seem to collect around here. Providing a cheap method for people to get to places is a lot easier IMHO.

BTW does anybody have any comments about my design work. If you do just let me know. I know a handful of you guys have seen it.

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