Gas to rise 7 cents a gallon, registration fees 20 percent for road plan

Gov. Rick Snyder signs a plan to raise money for badly needed road repairs into law today.

But the Democrats say it's too little, too late. Drivers will notice a difference in their wallets and their commutes starting in 2017

With Snyder's signature, gas taxes will go up seven cents a gallon, car registration fees up 20 percent, but none of that will kick in until 2017.

Snyder has been waiting almost four years to sign the legislation even though it is not everything that he wanted. It started out with $1.2 billion over 10 years, his package does not come close to that. In fact, it will be 2021 by the time it gets to $1.2 billion.

Nonetheless Snyder and others are applauding what was finalized today.

"It’s not just about asking for more revenue," Snyder said. "It is about investing in Michigan's future to create jobs."

But the Democrats who did not vote for this package argue this tax hike, including the fee hike on your birthday, does not get the road job done.

"This road plan takes money from the middle class," said State Rep. Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids). "It doesn't ask corporations to pay anything, or heavy trucks. Worst of all it doesn't even fix the problem.

"And everyone is going to get a little reminder on their birthday that they are paying more for roads that continue to decline."

The road builders in the audience are happy to get the revenue but there are also concerns that motorists may expect a quick road fix -  which is not in the works.

FOX 2: "When will motorist see a difference?"

"It is going to take some time," said Mike Nystrom, vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. "Obviously there will be a frustration period. In the end they are going to start to see improvements."

Snyder says there will be $400 million from the state's checkbook next year.

"We have got good general fund dollars available," he said. "And we are going to see that number go up over the next five years. You will see more orange barrels out there which is more progress for Michigan."

The road package is signed but the debate is not over, as this will be an issue for next year - and election year for the state House.
 

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