The following information was provided by the Governor’s Office:
The governor’s message focuses on four primary needs:
• A modern transportation system that moves people and goods efficiently, reliably and safely.
• A multimodal system serving the movements of a new generation of Michiganders that is more
active, urban-based and tech savvy.
• Water and sewer systems that support and protect Michigan’s rich environment.
• Integrating the broadband telecommunications network, connecting every business and
household to the Internet.
While noting the state’s continued innovations in transportation infrastructure and new technology, Snyder called for further cost savings and efficiencies through additional reforms and best practices. Proposals include:
• Allowing counties to absorb their county road commissions to ensure greater accountability.
Michigan is the only state with county road agencies.
• Giving the state the authority to audit county road agencies.
• Updating Public Act 51 of 1951 to remove cities and villages that receive less than $50,000 in
transportation funding from the distribution of P.A. 51 funds. Rather than go to jurisdictions,
money will stay with the road so it can be distributed to whatever larger road agency maintains
those roads and bridges.
• Ensuring that agencies covered under P.A. 51 conform to Michigan’s new law requiring
employees to contribute 20 percent of their health care premiums, and have new employees
placed on defined contribution retirement plans.
• Allow agencies covered by P.A. 51 to open construction and maintenance contracts to
competitive bidding from the public and private sectors.
Snyder also is urging dramatic reforms to Michigan’s transportation user fees to ensure sustainable funding for roads and bridges. He pointed to the 2008 Transportation Funding Task Force and this year’s House Transportation Committee work group, both of which cite the need for significant funding increases. Recommendations include:
• Allowing counties and regional authorities to levy a local vehicle registration fee to support
transportation if approved by local voters.
• Eliminating the state’s current 19-cents-per-gallon gas tax and 15-cents-per-gallon diesel tax in
favor of a percentage wholesale tax on fuel, which is a more viable long-term funding
approach. The wholesale tax would be revenue neutral upon enactment.
• Increasing investment in our infrastructure by $1 billion to $1.4 billion each year. For the sake
of discussion, a state registration fee increase of $10 per month on the average passenger
vehicle would raise nearly $1 billion.
• Distributing new transportation funding based on road use and traffic volumes, with a seven- to
10-year transition period for full effect. This would include any new revenues beyond what is
collected and spent today.