You won't hear many folks in this town suggesting that the Teamsters and the trucking industry have enjoyed favored nation status over the years as the lawmakers debate the road revenue problem. But far as anyone can tell the status appears justified.
An increase in the diesel tax?
It's always out there going all the way back to the Engler administration.
Yet that tax has not budged an inch nor a penny for that matter.
Michigan trucks have the highest weight limits and yet any legislative attempts to bring them down have failed miserably.
Which brings us to the latest round of road revenue chit chat. You have not heard a peep from the Snyder administration on any of this truck stuff. One brave lawmaker the other day opined that trucks should be included in the revenue debate but if the senate GOP leader has his way, any such overtures will be just that, overtures with no symphony to follow.
"Trucks are paying their fair share," GOP senate leader Randy Richardville concludes. He's not exactly a truck driving son of a gun but he contends he can prove it.
But what about all the weight they haul around tearing up the roads?
The Monroe lawmaker concedes the weight limits are indeed the highest, not in the midwest, not in the south or west but highest in the whole nation.
But he goes on trotting out his "research" on the question. He contends that Michigan trucks also have "twice the number of axles" that heavy haulers in other states don't have. Thus if you factor that in, the damage to the roads here is no different than it is in other areas where truck weights are lower.
So much for the truck load limit debate.
Mr. Richardville thinks everyone should weigh the consequences of lowering the weight.
"The question you want to ask. Do you want to reduce the weight and the number of axles and have twice as many trucks on the road?"
Well, do ya?