Michigan may take over the number one spot.
A proposed gasoline tax hike to fix the state's crumbling roads and bridges is pitting road builders against gasoline station owners, who say it would give Michigan the highest tax in the nation. With the proposed hike being considered by the lame duck state Legislature, Michigan would jump ahead of California, the nation's current No. 1, according to station owners. Michigan now has the nation's fifth-highest gasoline tax, including state and federal taxes, at 59.4 cents a gallon. California's is 67.1 cents.
"I put it down to three issues: It's too quick, it's too complicated and it's too much," said Michigan Petroleum Association President Mark Griffin, who sent a memo to legislators Tuesday outlining his concerns.
"It's the last thing this ailing economy needs right now," said Craig Hoppen, president of J&H Oil Co., which owns 34 gasoline stations in West Michigan. "Cheap fuel prices are fueling the (economic) activity we have now. Taxing gasoline to fix roads is an old way of doing it."
Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) spokesman Mike Nystrom questioned the sincerity of gas station owners.
"It's interesting to me that this industry is now so concerned about excessive fuel prices," said Nystrom, whose group represents road builders and others in heavy construction. "We didn't necessarily see memos coming out from them when the price of fuel exceeded $4 a gallon.