Proos: Extra revenues should go to roads

LANSING, Mich. — State experts forecast that Michigan’s economy will continue to improve and that resulting tax revenues will be more than $365 million better than originally projected in January, said Sen. John Proos.

“It is great news that Michigan’s economy continues to recover and is expected to continue to grow into the future,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “We continue to see the positive signs of a revitalized economy here in Southwest Michigan, where more jobs have been created, more people are working and unemployment is down.

“Another positive result of a growing economy is increased revenue. I strongly believe that the extra tax dollars should go to fixing our roads.”

Michigan economists and fiscal leaders met Friday for the annual May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference at the Capitol. Their economic and tax revenue projections are used to set budget parameters for the next fiscal year, which will begin Oct. 1.

They forecasted that state revenues the current fiscal year will be up $217.6 million and revenues for Fiscal Year 2016 will be $147.8 million more than previously expected.

“We must prioritize our roads in the budget — starting with investing all extra revenues into making our roads and bridges safe,” Proos said. “Quality roads are critical for protecting drivers and reducing costly car damage, and they are also key to attracting tourists and competing for jobs in a mobile economy.

“As we finalize the budget and fix our roads, we must remember that Michigan’s recovery didn’t happen by chance. It is the result of making government live within its means and empowering people and job creators to succeed. Both tenets are vital to long-term prosperity.”