Where the Money from Higher Transportation Taxes Goes [Mackinac Center]:
"What if the Legislature and governor hike gas and vehicle registration taxes to fix the roads, but then hardly any extra money goes to fix the roads?
Drivers have started paying those higher taxes this month, though they were enacted near the end of 2015.
But at least in the short term, the main effect of these tax increases appears to be higher spending on schools and Medicaid, not road repairs.
The 7.3-cent-per-gallon tax increase motorists began paying on Jan. 1 and the 20 percent increase in the vehicle registration tax are expected to cost road users an additional $460 million this year.
The money is dedicated to transportation funding — mostly to the roads, but also some for public transit.
Yet the state transportation budget will only have $160 million more this year for road repairs, not $460 million.
That is because the Legislature shifted funds out of the transportation budget just as new tax revenues were coming into it..."