LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Transportation Team (MTT) commends State Rep. Richard Ball, R-Bennington Township, and State Rep. Pam Byrnes, D-Lyndon Township, for introducing revenue bills to help resolve Michigan’s transportation funding crisis.
For years, Michigan business and labor leaders have called on state legislators to make a real investment in updating Michigan’s aging infrastructure, providing a significant boost to the state’s economy and helping create much-needed jobs.
“Rep. Ball and Rep. Byrnes have made fixing Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure a top legislative priority,” said Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA), and co-chair of the Michigan Transportation Team (MTT). “This is a matter of doing what’s right for Michigan drivers, businesses and taxpayers. Providing safe transportation is a core service of government, and one that our state can no longer afford to ignore. It’s time for our elected officials to follow the lead of Rep. Ball and Rep. Byrnes – there are no more excuses.”
The package of bills would help address Michigan’s looming transportation funding shortfall – an estimated $3 billion annually – by raising $1.4 billion in state revenue and capturing more than $2.46 billion in matching federal aid.
“Rep. Byrnes and Rep. Ball should be commended for addressing Michigan’s crumbling transportation network,” said Nystrom. “Investment in better, safer roads and public transportation is not only important to drivers, but vital to making Michigan more business-friendly. It will spur economic growth and help create thousands of good-paying jobs.” The bipartisan package of bills – aimed at restructuring Michigan’s motor fuel taxes – follow the recommendations of the Transportation Funding Task Force (TF2) to address Michigan’s critical funding needs. “With hybrid technology cars and alternative fuels on the rise, it is clear Michigan cannot rely solely on gas tax revenues forever,” said Nystrom. “This legislation will bridge the gap until we can find a reliable, long-term funding solution.”
The legislation would create a commission charged with studying and recommending long-term replacements for the current cents-per-gallon motor fuel taxes. The group will also examine methods of alternative technology that may be applied to the tax restructuring.
“Rep. Ball’s and Rep. Byrnes’ creative reform ideas, including creating a lock box for the new money to be guaranteed to be spent on transportation, will secure Michigan’s transportation funding future,” Nystrom said. Michigan residents can voice their concerns about road funding by calling a toll-free number – 888-719-3087 – set up by MTT. Callers simply enter their five-digit ZIP code to be connected with their legislative offices.
MTT is a broad-based, bipartisan partnership of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens with the common goal of improving Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. The DriveMI campaign is committed to promoting the development and maintenance of a safe, convenient and efficient transportation network that serves the public, private and economic development needs of Michigan. Please visit www.drivemi.org for more information on transportation funding or follow them on twitter @drivemi or YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/FixMIRoads.
Contact: Contact: Mike Nystrom, Vice President of Government and Public Relations, MITA