By: Regina Brim
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a guest column written by a local patriotic activist about Gov. Snyder’s attempted gas tax hike, and the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the Michigan Tenth Amendment Center.
The proposed gas tax increase will give Michigan the highest gas tax in the country.
Instead of oppressing Michigan poor and seniors by more than doubling the gas tax, our representatives in Lansing should find the one billion dollars needed to fix our roads, within their already existing budget. They need to quit spending money on things that don’t address fixing our highways and dedicate our current gas taxes for road repairs.
Currently, out of the 6% sales tax charged at the gas pump, not a penny goes to fix the roads. Instead, most of it goes to schools, with some money going to subsidize city buses and general government spending.
Here are a few alternative suggestions for starters:
Due to the Prevailing Wage Law, the state uses our tax dollars to pay for artificially inflated wages for road projects. Repealing this law could easily save taxpayers over $200 Million a year in “premium” wages.
There should be competitive contracting for road work and maintenance, and the state should look at alternative, longer lasting methods and materials used for building and repairing roads. This summer, recent road repaving in a Southfield subdivision, had significant cracking in the surface of the concrete within one week of completion.
Michigan lawmakers should eliminate the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. $300 million dollars in corporate welfare could be saved in 2015, and funneled into repairing our roads.
Include canceling the Michigan Business Development Program, (taxpayer subsidized crony capitalism.) Paying 52 of its employees a salary of $100,000 a year, this program has provided subsidies and tax breaks to several questionable enterprises, many of which have either gone bankrupt or failed to provide jobs they promised. This boondoggle has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars that should have gone into fixing our roads.
Instead of building roundabouts, bike paths, boulevards, pedestrian trails, “road diets” and other Agenda 21 pet projects to create “placemaking,” amend the state constitution so that fuel taxes can’t be used for anything other than road repairs.
Privatize some state prisons, saving over $150 million each year.
Michigan government employee pay scale and benefits should be in line with earnings of those that work in the private sector. According to Mackinac Center, states of Michigan employees receive over five billion dollars more in benefits than those paid in the private sector.
The money is already there. But the obfuscation of where our gas tax dollars goes is mind boggling. Let’s remember that our state legislators wasted $480,000 in tax money to hire Jonathan Gruber for advice on how to sell a state run health care exchange to “stupid voters.” There is no end of ways that our Michigan government can raise and waste our tax money.
Contact your Michigan legislators and tell them NOT to raise our taxes, but instead, prioritize spending. Doing otherwise is a dereliction of duty to their constituents. Don’t stand for anything less. That is, of course, unless you LOVE the lash.
You can find the contact information for your state house representatives and state senators HERE.