WATCH LIVE: Legislators looking at road funding options before summer recess

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Michigan State Senators are considering options to fix roads and potholes with just two days to go before a scheduled summer break. 

A vote of some kind is tentatively set in the Michigan Senate on Wednesday.

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The two main plans are increasing the gas tax and a 1-cent sales tax increase on everything that would go just to the roads. 

A gas tax would need 20 votes in the Michigan Senate. A sales tax would need a 2/3rds majority, or 26 votes, and would also have to be approved by voters in November. 

Legislative leaders say this gives voters the option, in an election year, to decide if they want to pay more at the pump, or spread it out across everything they buy through the sales tax. 

If voters were to approve a sales tax in November, any gas tax increase would be set to take effect in January and would be canceled. 

Leaders also say any money approved now could be used for financing road projects now, that way planning would not wait until next year. 

Democrats in the Senate are also talking about some $200 million in tax relief for low income people who, they say, can't afford higher taxes.

Would that demand stall any action? 

The Michigan House has already passed $450 million in funding for the roads and is awaiting action in the Senate. But the Governor and others say more than $1 billion is needed to fix all the roads. 

Getting a plan passed in both chambers may be difficult.  Right now, the last scheduled day for legislators is Thursday . They would then spend most of the summer off until after Labor Day. 

 

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