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FEDERAL GAS TAX INCREASE DOESN'T GIVE A DIME TO MICHIGAN ROADS AND BRIDGES, SAYS CITIZENS FOR IMPROVED TRANSPORTATION

 LANSING, Mich., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan motorists soon will pay 4.3 cents more in taxes on a gallon of gasoline -- but none of the new revenues will fix roads and bridges or fund public transportation.
 Citizens for Improved Transportation (CIT), a group of organizations dedicated to raising adequate funds for Michigan roads, bridges and mass transit systems, wants Michigan residents to know that President Clinton's gas tax hike "doesn't give a dime" to transportation.
 "Michigan's roads, bridges and mass transit systems are woefully under-funded," said Larry Martin of CIT. "It is important that no one confuse the intent of this federal gas tax increase. All of it is to pay off some of the debt racked up by years of free-spending by the federal government.
 "Not a dime, not a nickel, not a penny is for roads and bridges."
 Despite what appears to be a summer of record road construction, Michigan's roads and bridges continue to crumble faster than funds are available to fix them.
 "The fact is that Michigan is spending less now, in real dollars, on roads and bridges than 30 years ago," said Martin. "That's because the state gas tax has been locked at 15 cents a gallon for nearly a decade, while costs have skyrocketed and more fuel-efficient vehicles have taken to the roads.
 "Michigan is deficit-spending on roads and bridges, and it's stalling commuters in traffic jams, closing bridges, keeping businesses away and sending tourists and all motorists over bumpy roads pock-marked with potholes."
 Just five other states now have lower gas tax rates than Michigan, according to a new survey by the Highway Users Federation in Washington. The July 1 survey shows that the average state gas tax is 18.1 cents per gallon -- leaving Michigan's rate 17 percent short. The most recent state to increase its gas tax is Ohio (by a penny a gallon, to 22 cents, effective July 1).
 "Our state legislators must exercise leadership and adequately fund Michigan's transportation systems," Martin said. "Even though the state and federal governments have provided additional road funds to Michigan in the past year, they're not enough to make up for the damages done by a decade of neglect."
 CIT is studying ways to raise adequate funds for Michigan roads and bridges. A new report soon will be issued rating the condition of Michigan roads and bridges.
 -0- 8/6/93
 /CONTACT: Larry Martin, executive director, Citizens for Improved Transportation, 517-372-5130/


CO: Citizens for Improved Transportation, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: TRN SU:

KE-ML -- DE016 -- 0510 08/06/93 22:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 6, 1993
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