Michigan Senate rejects sales tax hike for roads

The floor of the Michigan Senate. (June 12, 2014)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An attempt to raise taxes to improve Michigan’s roads and bridges has stalled in the Republican-led state Senate.

After a marathon session, senators broke early Thursday morning without passing a measure that would more than double the 19-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax within five years. They also couldn’t muster enough support for a scaled-back plan to switch from a flat per-gallon tax to one that would fluctuate with price to keep revenue on pace with inflationary construction costs.

Senators will return mid-morning to revisit the debate on their last day before a summer break.

Advocates say Michigan should spend at least $1.2 billion more a year on deteriorating roads.

Earlier, senators soundly defeated a proposal to let voters raise the 6 percent sales tax to 7 percent if they didn’t like the gas tax hike.

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