Use the state budget surplus to fix our roads and bridges - New York News

Use the state budget surplus to fix our roads and bridges

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Opinion by Mike Renda
General manager, WJBK FOX 2

(WJBK) -- There is one fact almost everyone in Michigan would agree on - our roads are absolutely deplorable and getting worse as the cold and snow pound our region.

It is literally an epidemic of destruction brought on by wild temperature fluctuations, more road salt usage and, yes, most importantly, years of insufficient spending and upkeep.

This failure has left our roads in terrible condition. Just ask any of the thousands of motorists who have hit humongous potholes and absorbed the cost of flat tires and broken rims.  

You can't lay the blame on Governor Rick Snyder, who has been consistently clear in his call for more than one billion dollars yearly to rebuild roads and bridges, to be paid for mainly through gas tax hikes.

But to the detriment of our state, he has been stonewalled by a Michigan legislature that is mostly controlled by his own party.

Now comes the announcement that the state has a budget surplus to the tune of one billion dollars. The Senate Finance Committee wants to use this cash to reduce the state income tax.  

While I believe state income tax reduction can be very productive and spur economic growth, it is ill-advised at this time.

I would propose that we take most of the surplus and apply it to Michigan's roads and bridges. Nothing short of this huge commitment will bring the condition of our infrastructure to an acceptable level.

There is another benefit: These dollars would put many Michiganders to work and help spur economic growth for our improving economy. At the end of the day, our legislature must consider the needs of our state as a whole when deciding what to do with this unexpected surplus.

Let's fix our roads and bridges.

Please let us know what you think.

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