Michigan drivers who had a birthday between January to May, might have noticed a slight change in their vehicle registration fee. The increase was due to Governor Snyder signing a bill in November 2015 that is supposed to help raise funds to repair Michigan roadways. The bill didn’t only raise registration fees but gas taxes as well, from 19 cents to 26.3 cents on top of sales tax, and the bill forces hybrid car and electric vehicle owners to pay an additional fee on top of the 20% increase. (Electric vehicle owners have to pay $135 and hybrid vehicle owners pay $47.) The increase in both registration and gas fees is expected to collect $600 million that will be used for road and transportation purposes.
How Are The Funds Being Applied?
It was discovered that all of the money raised by these increased fees and taxes isn’t going to the state's transportation fund. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy reported that the transportation budget will only have $160 million and not the $460 million dollars that was estimated to be collected this year. This begs the question, “Where are the rest of the funds?"
Supposedly, the remaining $300 million is instead being spent on Medicaid and school funding. Legislators state that the reason for the switch was because in previous years of tax revenues, money earmarked for these other causes, was scraped to pay the transportation funding costs.
How Do Drivers Feel About The Tax Hike?
The increase in taxes might have come as a disappointment to many drivers who share the same sentiment as Flint resident Sabrina Smith, 24, who said, “They don’t do anything around here, we still have busted roads and we’re still going to have busted roads."
As a counterpoint, Bob Johnston from Holland, Michigan disagreed with Ms. Smith's sentiment and said, “I absolutely understand the need for it. There’s a huge loss in economic development if we don’t have good roads and infrastructure. We need good roads.”
So, there seems to be mixed feeling about the tax increase among the citizens of Michigan. However, Michiganders should remember that having an up-to-date vehicle registration is required in Michigan. Any driver who is concerned about how much they need to pay to register their vehicle can find the cost on the Michigan’s Secretary of State registration fee lookup tool. Michigan drivers should also keep in mind that the Trump Administration released a $1 trillion infrastructure plan on June 13, 2017 that might affect the current fees in place.
Though all of the money raised in the tax increase won't go toward infrastructure repair, Michiganders can still expect to see plenty of road rebuilding, bridge repairs, and other construction work this Summer. As such, it is important that motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians be extra cautious when traveling around construction sites as construction motor vehicle accidents are likely to occur. By keeping alert at construction sites, obeying construction traffic signs, and by driving more slowly and extra cautiously, construction site car accidents may be avoided.
Michigan motorists may have to redo going their budgets this year thanks to an increase in registration fees and fuel taxes. Although many drivers will hate the increase, it comes as a trade off to higher auto repair costs due to the crumbling infrastructure of Michigan roads. If you or someone you know have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to damaged roads or damaged infrastructure, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation, at 844.4MI.FIRM.