Who Pays for our Streets?

The funding for Michigan's streets comes from different sources of revenue. Below, you'll find information on where it comes from and how much Lansing is able to spend on its streets.

Act 51

Back in 1951, an act was established to help classify streets in the state, set up taxes as well as a fund that will pool the taxes that go toward those streets. Known as Act 51, this law helped create the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF), the location where all fees from the state are deposited. Those include:
  • State motor fuels taxes: About 26 cents per gallon (starting Jan. 1, 2017)
  • Vehicle Registration fee: About $144 a year (starting in Jan. 1, 2017) for a car of median value.
State Revenue

Maintaining Lansing's Streets


The City of Lansing receives $8.3 million a year of state revenue from Act 51. Because the gas tax is a flat tax, the amount of money the city receives never changes. Until 2017, it hadn't changed in almost two decades. As cars became more fuel efficient, the plan to pay for Michigan's streets became an inefficient model for maintaining and funding the reconstruction. 

The City of Lansing allocates $1.8 million from the Act 51 budget for winter maintenance. Being in a state with unpredictable weather, we may need to pull more funds for when we salt and plow the streets. The City also maintains approximately 100 traffic signals and shares the costs of another 100 traffic signals with MDOT. Another $420,000 gets taken out of the Act 51 fund for this purpose.

The Cost of Lansing's Streets


For every mile of street, it costs approximately $400,000 to repair. If one mile of pavement needed repairing and that mile was four lanes wide, it would cost $1.6 million to reconstruct. The City of Lansing maintains more than 400 miles of streets, which translates to more than 1000 lane miles of roadway.

What is it going to take to fix Lansing's Streets?


  • Act 51 primarily funds maintenance and a small amount of capital improvements
  • Historically, the City has had regular outside sources of funding for the Street System for capital improvements
  • $25M per year is needed - $4.2M is provided = $20.8 M shortfall! Where is it going to come from?
    • Changes at the State level to the Gas and Weight Tax?
    • Additional Special Millage?
Annual street funding needed
You can find more info on the funding for Michigan's roads here.