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Push for electric vehicles backfiring as gas taxes bring in less money for Michigan

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Michigan sees the recent push for electric vehicles backfiring as residents spend less money on gas, leading to fewer funds for road repairs. 

The Michigan Department of Transportation released a survey on Monday, January 29th, asking drivers whether they would rather pay taxes on each mile they drive in place of the state’s current gas tax. 

Currently, Michigan’s gas tax equals out to 30 cents per gallon, which is used to fund road repairs throughout the state. However, Michigan officials say that the push for electric vehicles and more fuel efficient cars has led to less money for the state. 

“We cannot just rely on gas tax. So, we have to explore all different avenues for funding transportation,” said Jean Ruestman with MDOT to WILX 10.

Ruestman says the purpose of the survey is to find out how residents would feel about the change in tax, and whether a tax on travel would change the way people behave when it comes to driving. 

“This isn’t about setting policy; this isn’t about determining what rate to charge or trying to give the indication that we have a plan in place,” Ruestman continued. 

MDOT hopes to gather 20,000 responses to the survey by March 1st. After that, MDOT plans to randomly select drivers to answer questions about what they would be willing to pay and how it might change the way they travel. 

At least one trucking company in the state says that being taxed per mile would devastate their business. Virgil Newman with Reilly Trucking says that 27 drivers traveling between 250 and 400 miles a day would rack up some serious taxes that the company cannot afford. 

“Maybe put a toll on 94 or one of those major roads. That may help [with the funding] too, and we could get these roads fixed because these roads are bad,” he said.

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