The House today voted out ten bills that represent another step forward in providing additional funding for our transportation system. These bills would eliminate the gas tax paid at the pump and instead charge a 6% tax on the wholesale price. They would ensure taxes paid on diesel are equal to those paid on gasoline. The Secretary of State would be required to streamline registration fees, and overweight truck permits and fines are increased. These bills also includes efficiency measures to increase competitive bidding done by the Department of Transportation, and would require warranties on construction and preservation projects over $1 million dollars.
The League has been successful in having amendments added to these bills to protect our locals ability to fix their crumbling infrastructure. We will continue to advocate for further changes to improve on the package passed by the House.
There has been very positive news coming out of the Senate that they want to find a comprehensive solution to fix our transportation network. The League recognizes that the funding solution passed by the House is not a comprehensive solution, but it does represent the most progress made on this issue in many years. We have begun discussion with key members of the Senate to ensure that any solution represents a full solution for the transportation needs of this state. Based on early indications, we are hopefully that the Senate will take the necessary steps to finding this solution.
John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0303.