LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is doubling down on her proposal to raise Michigan’s gas tax to fix the state’s roads.
At a press conference in Lansing focused on combating sexual assault, questions quickly shifted to the governor’s tax plan.
Whitmer’s proposal would increase the current 26-cents-per-gallon tax by 45 cents.
The plan has the full support of Paul C. Ajegba, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation. However, when asked her response to those opposing the tax hike, Whitmer said roads are no longer about patchwork.
“I think for a long time in the state, people have told us what they think they wanted us to hear and have not done the hard work of actually solving problems. For 40 years, we’ve been disinvesting in this state, and now we have a crisis in our infrastructure that is $2.5 billion a year,” Whitmer said.
Whitmer said if someone could propose a better plan, she would be open to an alternative. However, if there is not a better way to fix the roads and solve education issues, it was time to get serious, she said.
“The former legislatures and governors have taken money from the general fund to fill potholes and filled up the general fund by stealing it from the school aid fund,” Whitmer said. “As a consequence, we are not rebuilding our roads well, we’re not funding the things that matter out of the general fund, like state police labs, and we’re not educating our kids the way they should be.”