Will gas tax raise enough money to get job done? - WNEM TV 5

Will gas tax raise enough money to get job done?

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

We'll soon be paying more for gas as part of a broad plan to pay for better roads in Michigan, but many roads will continue to look rutted, bumpy and potholed for the foreseeable future.

The extra money we’re paying won’t go for road repairs right away because of what one official calls a flaw in the system.

Drivers are accustomed to their cars rocking side to side, bump after bump, but many would still like to see a change.

“Michigan roads are horrible, they're pitted and the potholes are huge,” Chad Rotman said.

With 120,000 miles of road across the Mitten, is reconstructing a perfect infrastructure an attainable goal?

“The roads will never be perfect,” John Daly said.

Daly is the director of the Genesee County Road Commission. He said the roads can’t be perfect without a substantial amount of money.

So, beginning January 1, be prepared to start paying for it.

“Eventually we'll raise $1.2 billion additional,” Daly said.

That money is stemming from a 7.3 cent increase in gas tax across the state, as well as a tax on diesel fuel and increasing registration fees.

Don’t expect to see that money go back to the roads for a while, though. Just one of the features of this new legislation, Daly said, makes it flawed.

“Well it's frustration because the goal we set was a January of 2014 number, in the meantime, the roads have continued to deteriorate so the number is significantly higher,” Daly said.

Therefore, more money is needed than this new tax can bring in and not every driver is thrilled about the idea of paying more at the pump.

“There's got to be a better way to do it, absolutely a different way. I drive a semi for a living and it's going to hurt them too,” Rotman said.

Others say what has to be done, has to be done.

“I’m willing to pay a few extra cents for bridges and roads that aren't falling down,” Rob Wegener said.

Daly said this new tax still leaves many projects untouched but at least it's money that will be put to good use.

“It's a very good first step, it's not the end of the journey. And what we need to do is realize that,” he said. 

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