Michigan Transportation Fund

Approximately 83% of the St. Clair County Road Commission’s annual budget comes from the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF). The MTF was designed as a user fee for the state’s transportation system; 88% of the revenue funding the MTF comes from the state’s Gasoline Tax and Vehicle Registration Fees.  

The state’s Gasoline Tax is a flat 19 per gallon. This tax has not seen an increase in fourteen years. (The 6% sales tax on gasoline DOES NOT go to the MTF, and therefore does not fund transportation.)  

Distribution of the MTF follows a formula mandated by law. Prior to distribution, however, a series of deductions are taken by various state agencies including: Mass Transit; MDOT’s Debt Reduction; Economic Development Fund; Local Road Program; the Secretary of State; the Treasury Department; the Michigan State Police; the DEQ; Recreation; Administration; and Critical Bridge/Rail Crossing. These deductions total approximately 21.5% of the MTF’s total revenue.  

The remaining funds are then distributed through the formula designated under Act 51:  

  • 39.1% goes to MDOT (MDOT receives over one-third of the funding, even though it has only 8% of the state's roads under its jurisdiction-9,711 miles; it is also one of the state agencies that takes funds from the MTF prior to distribution.)

  • 21.8% is divided among the cities and villages (which have 17% of the states roads - 20,667 miles).

  • 39.1% is divided among the state's 83 counties (which have jurisdiction over 75% of the state's roads - 89,499 miles).  The St. Clair County Road Commission has 1,552 miles of roadway it is responsible for, or 1.3% of the state's road system, yet receives only .71% of the net funds available for distribution.

Funding for the MTF has seen a steady decline in recent years. With gas becoming more expensive, drivers are reducing the amount of gas they use by purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles and limiting the amount they drive. As the gas tax is based upon the amount of gas purchased, and not its price, this has had a profound effect on the revenue raised. The use of hybrid and electric vehicles has also contributed to the reduction in MTF; while they use the transportation system, their funding contribution is minimal. The result is that the St. Clair County Road Commission has seen a 9.8% reduction in its funding from the MTF.