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Are you willing to pay more for gas to get better roads?

8:31 PM, Jan 17, 2013   |    comments
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Potholes form when snow melts, seeps into pavement cracks, then refreezes, expanding and popping out the blacktop. Photo courtesy: AP

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) - Wednesday night, during his State of the State address, Governor Snyder proposed increasing the gasoline tax to pay for fixing Michigan roads.

The Ottawa County Road Commission has mainly been making temporary repairs because of a lack of revenue.

"Instead of preserving the roads the way we like, we're doing the Band Aid approach," says Mike Mikita, Finance Director for the Ottawa County Road Commission.

The department is looking forward to details of Governor Snyder's plan to increase the gas tax.

"I'm excited about any proposal to raise any type of revenue," says Mikita. "We're obviously waiting for the details of how the increases would be distributed."

Currently, gasoline is taxed 19 cents per gallon. Six cents of that money goes to state roads and six cents goes to county roads. Three and a half cents goes to city roads, leaving two pennies for public transit. The rest of the money is divided among various state departments.

The Ottawa County Road Commission says every penny of tax dollars goes a long way.

"At one point, we understood that a penny would raise close to $50 million," says Mikita.

Mikita says a significant gas tax increase could mean long needed repairs are finally done, and new jobs created.

"A lot more road paving, we would even be able to address our gravel roads," says Mikita. "We'd like to add employees especially our plow drivers, we're at the lowest numbers we've ever been."

At the gas pump, shared sacrifice is worth it for some, but not for others.

"Its bad enough for me to get around right now and look for work," says Irma Flores.

"I don't have a problem with at all, we all drive on the roads," says Troy Luedke.

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