Last week, after a tumultuous legislative session, the Michigan Senate could not agree on a proposal that would shift the state’s fuel tax in order to fund sorely needed repairs to the state’s roads and bridges.
According to a report from Michigan Live, Democrats and Republicans alike were frustrated with the Senate’s failure to reach compromise. Yet one group was quick to herald the bill’s defeat: Americans for Prosperity of Michigan, the political arm of the billionaire Koch brothers in the state. AFP’s state director decried the proposal’s impact on “Michigan families,” who in his estimation, would apparently prefer to continue having to drive on roads with potholes and bridges in disrepair.
A component of the proposal was an increase in the tax on diesel fuel – currently 15 cents a gallon – to match that on gasoline, 19 cents. Koch Industries’ subsidiaries own and operate over a half dozen facilities in the state, including chemical, packaging and consumer products plants that presumably all make use of diesel-fueled trucks in their operations.
Given Koch Industries’ significant footprint in the state, we can’t help but wonder if AFP is really speaking for “Michigan families” in their opposition to the proposal, or just one family… the Kochs.