Michigan trying to decide how to divide

News AASHTO Journal April 23, 2002
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Michigan's proposal to raise the diesel fuel tax by four cents a gallon to match the 19 cents levied on gasoline has state, cou

Michigan's proposal to raise the diesel fuel tax by four cents a gallon to match the 19 cents levied on gasoline has state, county and city officials debating how and where the additional money should be allocated.


Of the estimated $38 million that will be generated from the diesel tax increase, Republican Gov. John Engler plans to share less than $2 million with county and local governments, according to the Detroit News.


Engler wants to send $31 million of that money to the state highway agency and set aside another $5 million to fix or replace deteriorating bridges, leaving $2 million to be divided among 83 local governments.


The News said county officials want the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to receive 39.1% of the revenue with counties getting the same percentage for use improving their roads. That would leave just under 22% to be shared by cities and towns.


City officials, however, have a different plan. Livonia Mayor Jack Kirksey said his city is asking its voters to approve a mileage proposal this August to raise $42 million over 10 years for road repairs. Kirksey said the state's allocations to Livonia only add up to about a third of what is needed for maintenance.


Ari Adler, MDOT director of communications, said the state should get the largest share since state roads typically carry more than 10 times as much traffic as county roads.


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