An official with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments said residents aren’t filling their gas tanks as much due to higher prices at the pumps, which means the city is receiving less funding for road resurfacing, reconstruction and bridge maintenance projects.
“The amount of funding we receive is directly dependent on the number of gallons of gas that we sell or buy as consumers, and we’re buying fewer gallons of gas not only as a state and a region, but as a country,” said Carmine Palombo, director of transportation for SEMCOG.
Cities in Michigan rely on the state gas and weight tax revenues as their main source of street funding – but there has been no funding increase since 1997, according to Sterling Heights Department of Public Works Manager Sal Conigliaro. The 19 cents per gallon state gas tax revenue is based on fuel consumption, but with significant improvements in vehicle fuel mileage, consumption and the formula-based revenues have been declining.
“Hypothetically, if you drive 20,000 miles per year and your car gets 20 miles per gallon, you’re going to buy 1,000 gallons of gas,” Palombo said. “What that means for you is you’re going to pay $184 in federal gas tax and $190 in state gas tax. So that means your contribution to improving roads and public transit is $374 in state and federal taxes. In addition to that, you also pay your registration fee.
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