Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan has decided to do what the American people do not want, increase the gas tax. First, the poll results. Reason.com conducted a poll of Americans that found that 77% of the respondents were opposed to raising the federal gas tax. There is a general distrust with the government in spending the money wisely as the study shows.
In Michigan however, the governor believes increasing the gas tax in the state is the route to go in order to improve the state’s infrastructure. On the surface level this sounds reasonable. If you decide to drive a vehicle on the road, then you have to pay more to operate the vehicle in order to pay for the maintenance of the road you travel on. And the state also wants to increase registration fees, directly targeting everyone who wishes to have a private vehicle.
That sounds practical, but the issue at hand is this is not a percentage tax that cuts into people’s incomes evenly, 5% from the rich and the poor and all in-between. This is instead a solid numerical figure for everyone, like bread going up in value. That gas would cost more means that for those who can afford a gas increase they will barely blink. For those who cannot afford an increase in their overall transportation cost, tough decisions will have to be made in their finances. This can’t be the only course of action to take to increase transportation funds, or simply to become efficient in improving transportation routes. I will venture to guess that the residents of the state of Michigan are not far off from the sentiment of the nation-wide poll when it comes to a gas tax hike, state or federal. In tough economic times like in Michigan this cannot be the time to take more money from the economically disadvantaged.