The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

March 20, 2013

In Michigan, GOP governor finds a tax to like

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan's venture capitalist-turned-governor, Rick Snyder, needed just five months in office to slash his state's business taxes. Elected on the downside of the recession, he was among a crop of new Republican leaders eager to show they could boost their states' ailing economies with lower taxes.

But two years later, confronting one of the automobile-addicted state's most visible problems — crumbling roads — Snyder has roiled conservatives by calling for a major tax increase.

He has proposed boosting the gasoline tax from 19 cents to 33 cents a gallon and hiking car license plate fees by 60 percent, firmly grabbing what many politicians consider a third rail for consumers — gasoline prices.

"This is common sense," he declared during his budget proposal, adding, "we need to make this investment."

Although a break from the GOP's anti-tax ideology, Snyder's move shows a dicey willingness among some Republican officials to begin raising more revenue. They are a distinct minority in the more than two dozen states the party dominates. But those treading this path are governors facing difficulty delivering basic services, especially roads, with budgets that are strained and must be balanced.

They insist there are actually some taxes that government should rely on more — and that even Republicans can embrace.

In Virginia, GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell recently won approval for overhauling his state's highway maintenance system by raising diesel and retail sales taxes and creating a mechanism for a potential future gasoline tax hike. Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has called for increasing a wholesale gasoline tax, with most or all of the increase passed to drivers.

Conservative economists disdain higher tax rates for siphoning off money they say would be available for economic activity. But gasoline taxes, some Republican officials say, are a lesser evil because the money traditionally doesn't wind up in general spending, but rather in building infrastructure, which helps boost economic development.

Text Only
Breaking News
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

About 70 houses in the city will be demolished with a federal loan initiative administered by the state. How many more houses in the city do you think need to be razed?

At least 70 more
200 to 500 more
1,000
None
     View Results