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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she's not worried gas tax increase will hurt her

Posted: 1:51 PM, Apr 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-04 17:51:14Z

(WXYZ) — Michigan's crumbling roads are among the worst in the nation, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to raise the gas tax in order to finally fix the roads and bridges. 7 Investigator Heather Catallo sat down one-on-one with the governor, taking your questions to her about our roads.

The governor is pushing a plan to increase the gas tax by 45 cents a gallon. That would raise the total number of gas taxes you pay at the pump to 71.3 cents a gallon.

"So this isn’t just like sending money to Lansing, in the general fund, and hoping the legislature appropriates the money," Whitmer said. "This is a guarantee. And it’s the only way we can guarantee the dollars will where say they’re going to go. There’s a lot of distrust – I get that."

Whitmer says her plan will raise the $2.5 billion a year that’s needed to get 90 percent of our roads up to good or fair condition.

But it’s going to take a decade to do that – which means drivers may not fully benefit from the governor’s aggressive plan until she’s out of office.

It’s a risk she’s willing to take.

"Are you worried that four years from now this raising of taxes is going to hurt you?" Catallo asked?

"No I’m not worried about it. I’m not thinking about four years from now. I’m thinking about the mess of infrastructure that I have to confront that we all do," she said. "If we pass this budget as it’s written, and people aren’t happy with me in four years, well I can live with that.

"But what I couldn’t live with is putting a half measure on the table, or pretending to the public that we don’t have a problem when we really do. I believe elections are based on what you do while you’re in office, we’ll see in four years – but today I’ve got a job to do," she added.