LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The road-building industry was hoping state lawmakers would create a $5 million pilot program to raise more money by taxing electric vehicle owners, but lawmakers are only talking about $1 million.

Most of the drivers out there are paying the gas tax, but the handful of electric vehicle owners don’t although they do pay a higher car registration fee.

But one lobbyist for the road builders argues that a surcharge is not enough.

“While they are paying a surcharge it does not equate to what they would pay on the gas tax,” said lobbyist Lance Binoniemi.

The road builders and others are asking the legislature to adopt a pilot program where EV owners would pay an additional tax based on the number of miles they drive, the so-called vehicle miles traveled levy, or VMT for short.

Gretchen Whitmer agreed that EV owners should contribute more to the road-building effort.

“I believe it is important for us to have a substantial revenue source because our roads and bridges have been underfunded for decades,” she said.

But the governor’s office has not submitted a plan to do that.

The special interest groups, including car manufacturers, are asking the legislature to appropriate $5 million for the VMT tax pilot, but lawmakers reduced that to a million.

“We think we should at least study the VMT program in Michigan, get the citizens aware of what it is. Have it how it would work and we want it to be fair and equitable,” said Binoniemi.

Meanwhile, 20 other states are already taxing EVs proving parity between those owners and those who drive gas-powered cars and Michigan is far behind.

We’ll know in the next week or so if the pilot program is dead or alive.