What Are VMT Fees? You May Soon Get Socked with Them in Michigan
Michigan drivers could soon be hit with yet more fees to keep their cars on the road. A group of Michigan legislators is proposing VMT or 'Vehicle Miles Traveled' fees to offset revenue not collected due to lower gas taxes.
The proposed initiative would charge drivers based on the number of miles driven each year.
Reason Behind the Proposal
State lawmakers say the revenue generated from gasoline tax is down because modern gasoline-powered vehicles are more fuel efficient and because there is an increased number of electric vehicles on the road today. Electric vehicle owners do, however, pay higher fees to register their vehicles each year.
There are nearly 11,000 electric vehicles currently registered in the state.
Representative Jack O'Malley is the chairman of the House Transportation Committee. He supports the move, calling it the "option that makes the most sense."
Opposition to Vehicle Miles Driven Fees
Charles Griffith is a researcher and advocate for clean energy solutions at the Ecology Center in Michigan. He tells WLNS-TV the proposal is "politically easier" but not a fair option for 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.”
Governor Gretchen Whitmer is yet to endorse the VMT proposal but tells WJBK that a policy change is necessary to replace the state's declining gas tax revenue.