“The Car Guy”

Taxes for road improvements, I hope

2017 has begun with the first step in several gradual increments of the newest gas tax in Michigan. This tax passed in 2015 was designed to be brought in in phases so we as taxpayers aren’t hit all at once. Beginning in 2022 we can expect the tax to be linked to the consumer price index.
The good thing is if we have de-inflation our taxes will reflect that. If we continue to see cost of living increase on the index we will see a commensurate tax increase the following year. The later of these two options is by far most likely to be the future trend of our tax rates on gasoline.
Also keep in mind that this is the only way to really adjust for decreases of total gallons used as our fleet mpg increases. If we are tied into a per gallon tax we lose revenue as a state as average fuel efficiency goes up and we all use less fuel.
Everyone agrees at least anecdotally, that Michigan needs radical infusions of cash to repair and replace our aging bridges and highways. This tax, I believe, is a vital beginning to that end.
Many of you have read or heard via media we are now among the top; states for overall fuel taxes levied. But we are in the top ten in certain revues of worst roads in the US. So pick your poison, we have to pay now or the cost only goes up radically as the infrastructure deteriorates to a point of no return.
From my perspective it’s a much needed boost that’s loooong overdue. The reason I say long is you probably either had big hair or a mullet the last time taxes were raised in Michigan — 1983. For you back to the future fans that was almost 35 years ago. The roads haven’t been maintained properly due to shortfalls for at least 25 of those years. So suck it up Bunkie!
If you drive a “coal roller” a.k.a. a diesel powered unit, you’ll be blessed with an 11.3 cent increase on your fuel of choice. It only makes sense since most diesel vehicles are trucks etc., and they tend to beat up our roads at a proportionately higher rate.
The other pleasantry I share is the 20 percent increase in registration fees for Michigan autos that starts May 31. Lucky Car Guy types who have a birthday prior to the increase at least have another year to delay the inevitable. So may your roads be more travelled, and your behind be less rattled as these new taxes are instituted.
Craig Crabill is an ASE master certified auto and heavy duty truck technician; he has owned and operated his own business for more than 30 years.

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