This piece has two issues in which I have been informing my listeners about.  One of those issues I have been telling my listeners about over the last few months the other I have been informing them about for years.

Let me first discuss the most recent issue which is Michigan’s Governor Whitmer’s gas tax proposal.  That proposal looks to raise Michigan’s state gas tax from 26.3 cents per gallon to 71.3 cents per gallon.  That 45 cents per gallon increase equals a 171% increase in our state gas tax alone.

The Michigan Capitol Confidential news site states that according to Governor Whitmer’s executive budget recommendation of 45 cents per gallon tax increase is expected to bring in $2.5 billion dollars per year to Michigan’s treasury.

The issue comes up when you look at Governor Whitmer’s executive budget recommendation which proposes to only spending an additional $1.9 billion on roads, not the $2.5 billion expected to be generated and flow into Michigan’s treasury.

What happens to the other $600 million, or 24% of the additional gas tax revenue.  Well those funds will be used to support other state spending and not for “fixing our damn roads”.

Putting aside the 171% state gas tax increase proposal, the fact that they are spending less on “fixing our damn roads” is a problem only made worse when Michigan’s news media outlets are not being 100% truthful about the gas tax increase.  That leads me into my second issue in which I have informed my listeners about for years.  That is honesty and total disclosure in our “news” media.

As the Michigan Capitol Confidential news site article points out, here are some of the examples which explain why I have talked about the problem with our media for years:

Michigan Radio May 29, 2019

The governor’s plan, the beauty of it is that she had said, this is my plan, this is my idea, anybody has a better idea on how to raise the 2.5 billion dollars to fix the roads, put it on the table and let’s have the discussion, [MDOT Director Paul] Ajegba said.

Detroit Free Press May 29, 2019

She [Whitmer] has estimated that the fuel tax would raise an extra $2.5 billion. Instead of putting that money through the regular formula under Public Act 51 of 1951, under which most of the road money goes to local road agencies, a greater proportion would be spent on the most heavily traveled roads.

Whitmer is not proposing selling bonds as part of the plan. Instead, she is looking at adding to the state's 26.3-cent-a-gallon gas tax without taking off the existing state sales tax on gasoline. Such an increase would raise roughly $2.5 billion for the roads.

Dow Chemical CEO Jim Fitterling, a member of BLM [Business Leaders of Michigan], supports Whitmer’s call for $2.5 billion more annually for roads.

“You can’t expect the governor or any administration to try to fix this when the revenue won’t cover it,’ Fitterling said. ‘I don’t think the numbers are unrealistic. It is going to take the kind of money that they’re talking about to get the quality of the roads up to where it needs to be.’

Hometown Life May 25, 2019

This was the driving force behind a recent vote by the Livonia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to support Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s gas tax plan to generate $2.5 billion in annual revenue for lasting repairs to Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges.

When a news media outlet or the Small Business Association of Michigan is reporting on the 171% proposed increase in our states gas tax and the amount of taxes it will bring it, is it not incumbent on them to inform their readers, viewers or listeners to explain this $600 million difference?

How is anyone who consumes the news from outlets that do not explain the entire issue/proposal going to come to their own informed decision on whether they support the issue/proposal or not?

Demand more from the news media outlets you choose to get your news from.

More From WKMI