The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) launched a survey at the end of January 2024 to ask drivers in the state about how we might make changes in how roads are funded. As a thank-you for taking part in the survey, a $10 gift card was offered.

Due to the overwhelming response, the state blew through its budget in a single day.

MDOT posted on social media,

Due to the overwhelming interest in this study, we have exceeded our targeted number of responses. As outlined in the Terms and Conditions, gift cards are no longer being offered. You will not receive a gift card if you complete the survey. However, we welcome additional survey responses and you may be eligible for gift cards (ranging from $75-$500) if you complete the survey and are selected for the pilot phase of the study.

If you have not yet taken the survey (it's here and still live through March 2024) you still can and let your voice be heard.

The main question was about the question of how to pay for the state's roadway system. Currently its via a gas tax meaning a portion of every dollar you pay at the pump goes to the state.

Michigan is in the early stages of exploring eliminating the gas tax and shifting to a road usage model. In this funding model, you would pay tax based on how many miles you drive. How your mileage would be tracked is a question not answered.

Proponents of the road usage model say that the gas tax is unfair as newer and/or smaller vehicles are more efficient and use less gas therefore paying no taxes while electric vehicle owners pay no gas tax. However, more efficient cars and EVs still use the roads paid for by heavy gas-tax spenders.

The survey lines up what ultimately is an either/or choice between a gas tax or usage model and leaves little room for other taxing methods like a general fund.

If you want your voice heard, you've missed out on the incentive but you can still have a say in the road funding survey.

The $10 per participant spiff, when it was active, was part of a federal grant to the state of Michigan for the study to provide incentives for participation. State tax dollars did not go into funding the giveaway.

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Gallery Credit: jrwitl

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