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House Panels OK Redirecting $450 Million To Road Repairs

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Potholes cover Midland Steet in Highland Park (Credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ Newsradio 50)

Potholes cover Midland Steet in Highland Park (Credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ Newsradio 50)

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Michigan lawmakers have taken a step toward spending $450 million a year more on deteriorating roads — not by raising taxes, but by redirecting tax dollars already collected.

Two House committees on Wednesday voted to permanently shift money from Michigan’s general fund to transportation spending. Another panel approved legislation bringing the diesel tax in line with the gasoline tax and taxing fuels on price instead of a flat per-gallon basis.

Fuel taxes would grow with inflation.

The $450 million is just a third of what Gov. Rick Snyder says is needed to bring Michigan roads up to par. Michigan’s gasoline taxes are among the country’s highest while its per-capita road spending is among the lowest because the sales tax on fuel primarily goes to non-transportation funding.

Legislators want to dedicate more of it to roads.

“The general public believes that every dime of tax they put into the fuel, into the fuel pumps, actually goes into improving our infrastructure,” when in fact it doesn’t, road lobbyist Lance Binoniemi told WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick.

“So, yes, anything, as much as we can do to help is good,” he said.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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