How are roads funded?
Michigan charges a $.19-per-gallon tax on gasoline and a $.21-per gallon tax on diesel fuel (however, diesel fuel users receive a refund of 6%, equivalent to the 6% sales tax, so they pay the equivalent of $.15 cents-per-gallon in fuel tax). Motorists also pay license and registration fees to the state. Revenues from these sources, as other fees make up the Michigan Transportation Fund.

According to state law, trust funds are divided between the 3 levels of government in Michigan with jurisdiction over roads: The Michigan Department of Transportation, the 83 county road agencies, and the 500-plus cities and villages (city and villages streets). Here’s how the funds are divided:
  • 39.1% is distributed to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT roads represent 8% of all roads, 9,715). State highways fall under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Transportation. Included under this heading are all highways with letters in their names, such as “M”, “US”, or “I”
  • 39.1% is distributed to Michigan county road agencies (county roads represent 75% of all roads, 89,750 miles)
  • 21.8% is distributed to cities and villages (City and village roads represent 17% of all roads, 20,750 miles)

Note: Michigan has the 8th largest public road system in the nation, and the 6th largest local (county, city and village roads) system. Michigan’s state highway system however is the 33rd largest in the nation.

In many cases (67 counties), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) hires the county road commission to maintain state highways in the county. MDOT reimburses the county road commissions for the cost of this maintenance.

The 2nd largest funding source for road commissions is the revenue from the $.19-per-gallon federal fuel tax. Congress has created a formula through which it determines how much of the federal road funds go to each state. Of the federal funds that come to Michigan, MDOT has historically received 75%, while county road commissions, cities, and villages have split the remaining 25%.

Show All Answers

1. Who has jurisdiction over Michigan roads?
2. What's considered a "state" highway?
3. What jurisdiction does the County Road Commission have?
4. What about city and village streets?
5. How are roads funded?
6. What are federal dollars used for?
7. How does this affect Canton?
8. How do I report a streetlight that is burned out?
9. How does Canton’s water system work?
10. What happens to the waste water in Canton?
11. What is Canton’s strategy towards watershed management?
12. What is ARC?
13. What is a Detention Basin?
14. What are the different types of detention ponds?
15. How are detention basins maintained?
16. How should detention basins be inspected?