Budget Analyst Talks Transportation Budget

As negotiations continue on Michigan’s fiscal year 2023 budget, the Michigan Department of Transportation and budget analysts are trying to prepare with an eye on new federal infrastructure dollars coming in. Speaking on the latest MDOT Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, state House Fiscal Agency transportation analyst Bill Hamilton said things are unique with an infusion of federal funds through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“We anticipate receiving an additional $384.7 million from federal sources in 2023 as compared to the 2022 baseline,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton says budget analysts kept having to adjust their expectations as more federal funding came in. However, he notes after the new cash, Michigan still does not generate enough transportation revenue to keep up its roads.

“Nobody likes to raise taxes, and so if you vote to increase fuel taxes or registration taxes, that is a tax increase and nobody wants to do that.”

Hamilton says more money comes in from vehicle registration fees than from the gas tax. He also notes gas tax revenue continues to go down and will continue to do so. He believes the reason for a lack of a solution is simple. Lawmakers don’t want to raise taxes.