Should the state track vehicle miles as a gas tax replacement? Here's what people are saying

Posted at 5:58 AM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 06:23:03-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan appears to be running into a funding problem as the auto industry moves toward more electric vehicles, and as cars have become more fuel efficient.

That means less money for the gas tax, and the gas tax is one of the main sources of road funding. With a smaller pool, state lawmakers are looking into other means of funding.

One of those is possibly using GPS to track how many miles we drive and then charge based off of that. The idea is getting mixed reactions.

In downtown Royal Oak folks are shopping for plants and flowers. Basically getting ready for the summer, but summer also means a lot of driving and that’s one thing Michigan is trying to tackle. How do they implement a proposed mileage tax over gas tax?

"They are toying with the idea right now. In this pilot program they will be testing GPS systems to track driving habits that would include how far you're driving? What time of the day etc. how do you feel about that?" I asked people.

"I would like it because I’m a retiree. I don’t drive much, but when I do, I have to go get gas. I mean it’s just crazy," Rose Danielak said.

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"I am concerned that that then opens up a lot of issues and privacy because they now know where you are where you’ve been and how fast you’ve been driving and clearly that would end up eventually getting to insurance companies would end up having that information," Rob Macgregor said.

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"I would never want somebody to track me or miles or anything, besides my kids," Lisa McCartney added.

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"I have an iPhone so they are already tracking everything that I do," Taylor Miller-Goulait said.

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"I’m all for it," Scott Knott said. "Because then they will know how much we actually spend."

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"Have you heard the reason why they need to do something like that?" I asked.

"Yeah, cause they are not getting enough money from the gas tax. And they are out of dough for fixing the streets," Leo Thomas said.

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"Do you use Google Maps?" I asked.

"I do," McCartney said.

"Do you get at the end of every month a summary of where you’ve been and all that?" I followed up.

"Yup," she said.

"So Google has been tracking you with all your mileage?" I asked.

"That’s a bit different because I would trust Google in a way but not the government... maybe that’s where I’m going," she said.

"So the other option is having your odometer read a couple of times a year, is that practical for you?" I asked.

"Now you are stuck with going somewhere to get it tested," Thomas said.

"Yeah I’m fine with that, if its going to help me, if its going to bring gas prices down for everybody," Danielak said.

"Honestly, I'm a small business owner and I have to track my mileage, so that would be really helpful if I didn't have to track it myself," Miller-Goulait said.

"If they increase the tax on the gas, people will complain. If they don’t then they will complaint the roads ain’t fixed," Thomas said.

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