It was a close one, with Lt. Gov. Brian Calley serving as a tie-breaker.
The full Senate could vote on the plan Wednesday.
The proposal would raise the 19-cent gas tax by a nickel each year over three years.
The motive behind the increases is that owners of electric and hybrid vehicles don’t pay as much as other drivers toward the state gas tax, which supports road repairs.
The governor says the recent introduction of House bills to cut $135 million in economic development funds to improve roads is costing jobs and investment.
If voters in May approve a sales tax increase as part of a broader plan to help better fund roads, the GOP could decide there’s enough budget cushion to push an income tax cut.
It’s a risky plan, especially if conservative interests spend heavily to urge its defeat and too many business groups that preferred a lawmaker-approved net gasoline tax hike decide to sit on the sidelines.
House Speaker Jase Bolger and Minority Leader Tim Greimel say they are “very close” to an agreement.
Leaders agree more than a billion dollars is needed to fix the roads. At issue is how much of a tax increase residents should pay.
It’s crunch time for Michigan lawmakers to reach a deal to address deteriorating roads and bridges.