GOP Senate candidate wants gas tax reduction

GOP Senate candidate wants gas tax reduction
© Getty Images

Michigan Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land (R) is calling in a new television ad for a drastic reduction in the 18.4 cents per gallon gas tax that is used to pay for federal road and transit projects.

Land, who is running against Rep. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersAdvocates step up efforts for horse racing reform bill after more deaths Warren doubles down — to Democrats' chagrin, and Trump's delight Senators urge Trump to fill vacancies at DHS MORE (D-Mich.) in Michigan's open seat race, is pushing to cut back the gas tax to about 4 cents per gallon.

Land says reducing the federal government's take on driver's gasoline purchases will allow states to take greater responsibility for U.S. roads that are currently maintained by the federal government.

ADVERTISEMENT

The concept, known as devolution, is becoming increasingly popular with conservative groups in Washington as lawmakers confront transportation shortfalls.  

Land dubbed her Democratic opponent in the race to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) "Pothole Gary Peters" in an ad that attacks the current House member for supporting efforts to preserve the current system of using gas tax money to maintain the nation's highways.

"Every Michigan driver knows: our roads are a mess," the Land ad says.

"Gary Peters has voted repeatedly to send our highway dollars to DC, where the lobbyists and special interests get involved," the video continued. "When our highway money finally gets back to Michigan, it comes attached with costly mandates we don't need."

Land's campaign said her plan to reduce the amount of gas taxes collected by the federal government would give states like Michigan more control over what to do to solve their transportation problems.

"Instead of sending our money off to Washington, let's gradually reduce the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax to around 4 cents and allow states to decide how to best pay for the transportation infrastructure they need," the campaign video said.

"This is not about cuts: it's about keeping our money here in the first place and letting Michigan decide how to spend it," the video continued. "It's time to get Washington out of our way, fix our roads and put Michigan First."

Peters's campaign responded to the attack by accusing her campaign of trying to "hide the fact that Land has been previously silent on roads and now wants to hike up the state gas tax while liquidating the Highway Trust Fund."

Peters voted in favor of the $10.8 billion bill to extend federal transportation funding until May 2015 that was approved by Congress in late July.  

Most public polls of the Michigan Senate race have shown Peters with a consistent lead over Land, but recent GOP surveys have put the race neck and neck. 

-This story was updated at 7:18 p.m.