LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A new fee could be put on the shoulders of Michiganders based on the number of miles that they drive.
The vehicle miles traveled, or VMT user fee, is being proposed by state lawmakers due to the state not collecting as much money through the gas tax.
Cars’ improved efficiency and electric car drivers not paying the gas tax are some of the reasons that the state is raking in less dough.
Though electric car drivers pay a higher registration fee, House Transportation Committee Chair Jack O’Malley said that it’s not the best long-term solution.
O’Malley called the VMT fee the option “that makes the most sense.”
Charles Griffith is the Director of the Climate and Energy Program at The Ecology Center, and Griffith said the VMT would be politically easier, but financially unfair to EV drivers.
“Give them [EV drivers] a choice not to pay that surcharge and pay the VMT instead,” said Griffith. “I don’t think EV drivers should have a free ride and they should pay a fair share going forward to fix the roads.”
Instead of implementing the VMT fee, Griffith suggested a VMT pilot program for EV drivers should be rolled out before it is applied to all drivers.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the Legislature will discuss this issue further in 2023.