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Letter to the Editor - Detroit Free Press

Thursday, April 13, 2006   (0 Comments)
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Ron Dzwonkowski

Detroit Free Press Editorial Page Editor

Dear Editor,

I am writing to point out an inaccuracy that appeared in an April 4 article titled, “$2.65? Gas is a bargain for now.” The article stated that Michigan has one of the nation's highest state gas taxes at 19 cents per gallon.

The fact is that 32 states have higher gas taxes than 19 cents. Among Midwestern states, our gas user fee is significantly lower than other states such as Wisconsin (29.9 cents), Pennsylvania (29.8 cents) and Ohio (26 cents). Michigan drivers who must dodge potholes every day know that our roads did not receive a “D” letter grade from the recently released TRIP report because we spend too much money on them. The fact is that our road funding system is broken.

Because our gas tax is not based on the price per gallon but rather on the number of gallons purchased, there is no natural revenue increase associated with price per gallon increases. Since 1998, inflation has risen at almost twice the rate of our gas tax revenues, only compounding our problems with deteriorating roads.

Roads won't build or pay for themselves -- users do. Until our policymakers fix the system, which pays for our roads, we can expect them to get even worse in the years to come. The Detroit Free Press' misreporting of our gas tax relative to other states only serves to compound the future problems we face.

Keith Ledbetter

Legislative Affairs Director

Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association

Okemos, Mich. 48864

Office Phone: 517-347-8336

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