Where Is The "Road Money" Going?

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

At Marco's Pizza they sell dozens of pizzas every day and a portion of those are delivery. The idea that gas costs might increase to improve the roads makes them nervous.

"We don't want to have to raise prices here. I know that. We like to keep it at the same and help everybody else out too," said Jeff Holbrook, the Assistant Manager at Marco's Pizza.

Higher gas prices put drivers on edge.

"It bothers me a whole heck of a lot, said Russell Shirey, a driver who doesn't want higher gas prices. "The money that they are already receiving, they don't use for the intended purpose; they put it in the general fund and use it for a pet project and then they want us to pay again."

So where is the money going?

When you pay a vehicle related cost, like buying a drivers license or a vehicle registration fee, tax payers assume those fees are to pay some road related expense. However, that's simply not the case.

In 2012 the Secretary of State collected over $2 billion in license plate, motor vehicle and driver license fees. MDOT got $876 million to fix and improve roads. The other $1.1 billion did not go toward streets at all. Instead the money went to the Department of Education, the State's General fund, the Secretary of State and the Department of Natural Resources.

That makes some folks very upset.

"We are getting insurance cut, health insurance cut, wages cut and pretty soon we are laid off because we don't have any jobs. The people in this country that make the decisions have jobs and they make good money," said Craig Nelson, a driver who was filling up on gas Friday.

"When you have college loans to pay, groceries, a house loan, and then you own a car and you have to pay all these other fees on top of that it kind of really bites into your income on top of the taxes you pay," said Carlos Salais, another driver.

At Marco's, while they would like to see better roads, they sure wish it could come from tax money they already pay.

Friday a spokesperson from the Department of Budget stressed the fact that the money is going exactly where lawmakers have designated it to go.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Carol Location: Charlotte on Feb 20, 2013 at 10:56 AM
    If these increases go through once again, the chances of that going to be used for the roads are nil. We can't believe a thing we're told...
  • by Name Location: Location on Feb 19, 2013 at 04:25 AM
    COME ON WILX, what about the federal funds??? Report the federal funds that aren't being returned to the state becuase we have liberal Senators like Stabinow and Levin towing the party line of tax and spend liberal social programs.51% of the uninformed!?!?!?
  • by Courtney Location: Location on Feb 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM
    If gas tax is meant for roads, than that is where it should be spent. The fact that 1/2 never made it to the roads is disgusting. Even more disgusting is the fact that the money that didn't make it to the roads was "designated to go" elsewhere under the guise of road repair. We should not agree to another increase until government show they have earned our trust for it. We once trusted that was where money was going, it didn't and we are supposed to blindly say, "ok, here is more of my paycheck, spend as you wish." I don't think so.
  • by BJH Location: GRAND LEDGE on Feb 17, 2013 at 06:41 AM
    If they keep moving the gas price up they won't have to worry about fixing the roads, nobody will come here anyway they go swimming and fishing and hunting some where else. So much for the state tourism. Maybe we should change our name from the great lake state to the ghost state
  • by Name Location: Location on Feb 16, 2013 at 04:21 AM
    roads dont go bad overnight. where did the money go in the past?
  • by John Location: Lansing on Feb 15, 2013 at 10:11 PM
    The last line says it all: the money is going EXACTLY WHERE LAWMAKERS HAVE DESIGNATED IT TO GO....right in their pockets,or pet projects! $900million to MDOT,,and $1.1billion to the others? What happened to the lottery money that is supposed to support Education,or the License fees that we hunters,and fishermen pay,to support the DNR? Didn't they mention,last week,that they wanted to raid the State's "Rainy-Day fund",for something else? If they can't stay in budget,then CUT THE "PET"PROJECTS,and go back to basics!!
  • by Name Location: Location on Feb 15, 2013 at 03:58 PM
    and where did the money go from 2000 to 2011
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