California isn't the only one taking aim at the pumps in an effort to raise state revenue. The Michigan state legislature is also proposing a hike in its gas tax that could potentially make its gas taxes the highest in the nation. The current nineteen cent per gallon tax on gas, and fifteen cent per gallon tax on diesel, would be replaced by a simple 18% tax on the wholesale prices of both. Michigan says that the state isn't earning enough now that people are driving less, and driving more fuel efficient cars.
The reasons in for the tax are the same in MI as they are in CA: the transportation sector and road funding are sorely inadequate. Michigan has legendarily bad roads -- not the worst in the nation, but close in some cases. The oil and gas station lobby, however, wants none of it. One oil company exec said, "Cheap fuel prices are fueling the (economic) activity we have now. Taxing gasoline to fix roads is an old way of doing it." They are also worried that when gas prices inevitably go back up, the tax will make pump prices exorbitant.
A Michigan transportation rep said "We didn't necessarily see memos coming out from them when the price of fuel exceeded $4 a gallon." He also said that the tax is capped in the first couple of years, so no one needs to be concerned. The measure, along with a rise in DMV registration fees, is expected to raise $1.5 billion per year. If it doesn't pass this year, the legislature is expected to resurrect it next year. Hat tip to Braggin Dragon!
[Source: Michigan Live]