The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Business Leaders for Michigan, the Detroit Regional Chamber and numerous other groups all called on the Legislature to pass “a multi-year investment of billions of new dollars” and to make meaningful progress on a plan before recessing for the summer.
They’re right. The time to move forward is now.
The reality is that there will be financial pain for taxpayers in some form. It’s not realistic to expect to raise the $2.5 billion that’s said to be needed by putting a toll on out-of-state trucks. And that means there will be a political cost.
That cost, as it always does, will shrink over time. The sooner lawmakers bite the bullet and make the change, the more time voters will have to forget a vote to raise taxes — and the more likely they will be to see the benefits from that spending in the form of smoother roads.
Voters sent a clear message in last fall’s election that this is their priority. It’s incumbent on leaders in Lansing to make good on that promise, but the more time passes, the harder that will be to do.