Let's face it, Michigan's roads are in terrible shape. Our deteriorating infrastructure is fodder for jokes, online memes, and even those who generally support Governor Gretchen Whitmer will readily admit that "Fix the damn roads" didn't exactly pan out.

Drive across the state line into Ohio or Indiana (and I assume Wisconsin, although I have not personally done so), and you notice a change to the quality of the pavement you're driving on almost immediately.

But what's the answer? Are you willing to pay what's known as 'road usage fees' instead of paying the state's gas tax in order to change the structure Michigan uses to fund and maintain its infrastructure?

Electric Vehicles Create a Shift in Funding

The idea behind road usage fees is to spread the burden of funding to all drivers, not just those who use gasoline in their cars. Michigan residents currently have the sixth highest gas tax in the nation, at 28.6 cents per gallon.

As more electric vehicles come online in our state, fewer drivers are paying that gas tax - although it's important to note that owners of electric vehicles do pay additional registration fees for owning electric cars.

Exploring Road Usage Taxes

In addition to Michigan, about a dozen states are exploring a road usage tax structure. Michigan residents can take a survey to weigh in and share how they feel about altering how Michigan's roads and bridges are maintained.

MDOT gas tax survey

The Michigan Department of Transportation initially offered $10 gift cards to those who participated in the survey when it went online in January. However, Michiganders have a lot of opinions on the topic and the response was overwhelming. MDOT has since pulled the gift card offer but is still soliciting residents' opinions through March.

Here's the link to take the survey.


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