AS IN many places in the United States, Michigan’s roads need work. A quarter of the state’s roads are in poor shape, according to the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council — and that proportion is rising fast. Many have eroded so much they must be totally replaced, because they are no longer fixable. The state’s transportation department says it needs $1.5 billion for state roads, and that doesn’t include the amount necessary to repair local byways.
Identifying the problem, in Michigan and in many other states, is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out how to pay for a solution. And it is on this question that new Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has stepped up, proposing to nearly triple Michigan’s gasoline tax over two years. Her plan has already encountered Republican resistance. But hiking the gas tax is the most reasonable way to deal with the undeniable infrastructure problems — in Michigan and across the country.