News Story

Michigan Never Raised, Spent As Much On Transportation As This Year

And without a new tax hike

Even without any new gas or other tax hikes, the state of Michigan is already spending more inflation-adjusted dollars on transportation than at any time in the past 80 years.

Michigan will spend $3.6 billion in state tax funds on transportation this year, the vast majority of which goes to road repairs. This is only the sixth time in Michigan's history that state transportation spending exceeded the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $3 billion.

An analysis of past records shows that state transportation spending reached the equivalent of $3.0 billion current dollars in 2002, but it took another 16 years for spending to surpass that milestone. Michigan spent $3.22 billion state tax dollars on transportation in 2018, and $3.64 billion has been authorized for 2019.

The information comes from James Hohman, director of fiscal policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, who reviewed state transportation records going as far back as 1940. The records included annual financial reports, state budgets, reports from the Michigan Department of Transportation and other sources. Most of the records are from the 1950s and later, but the annual financial reports go back to 1940.

The state transportation spending figures used in this story do not include federal dollars that flow through the state transportation budget.