A VERY BIG THANK YOU
The Van Buren County Board of County Road Commissioners wishes to THANK ALL OF THOSE VOTERS IN VAN BUREN COUNTY who came out to support the County-Wide Road Millage Proposal on August 2, 2016. These funds have, and will continue to be a very important part of the road improvement program in Van Buren County!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
County-Wide Road Millage
Why do we need a road millage in Van Buren County?
Funding needs continue to grow tremendously and will, once again, challenge the Road Commission in 2013 and beyond. Michigan Transportation Funds (MTF) received in 2011 were over $457,000 less than amounts received in 2004. MTF Funds are the dollars Road Commissions receive from the State of Michigan collected through fuel taxes, license fees, and vehicle registration fees. These funds are then divided by law among the 83 counties, 534 cities and villages, with the State keeping about forty percent for their programs. MTF Funds are what the Road Commission utilizes in its routine operations to maintain the county road system which consists of 1,330 miles, including 66 bridges and an additional 250 large culverts or box structures.
Why has road maintenance funding dropped so much?
Despite what many people think, higher gas prices actually mean less money for our county road network. Higher gas prices mean drivers buy fewer gallons of gas, and more fuel efficient vehicles mean less fuel usage. And because the gas tax is fixed at 19 cents per gallon, every gallon that is not sold means less revenue deposited into the Michigan Transportation Fund.
The Michigan Legislature last increased the gasoline tax in 1997 from 15 cents per gallon to 19 cents per gallon. The tax on diesel fuel was not increased.
How many mills is the road millage, and what is the cost to a homeowner?
The current county-wide road millage is 0.9769-mills. The last Proposal passed by the citizens of Van Buren County in 2012 was for four years and will generate approximately $2,868,209 in the first year of the levy. For a home with a taxable value of $45,000 the mill would cost a homeowner approximately $44.00 per year.
How are the millage funds distributed?
Sums generated by the millage are distributed by the County Treasurer directly to the Road Commission, as well as to the 11 cities and villages in the County. In addition, the Road Commission allocates a portion of its distribution to the 18 Townships in Van Buren County.
The four-year levy (2008-2011) generated approximately $8.4 million for the Van Buren County Road Commission, of which $3.6 million was allocated to the 18 Townships within the County. In addition, cities and villages received approximately $3.5 million from the four-year levy.
How does the Road Commission utilize the millage funds?
It is critical that residents understand that millage funds are for the purpose of "maintaining, repairing, and constructing all public streets, avenues and roads in Van Buren County".
Millage funds received by the Road Commission are first utilized to leverage Federal and State funds to do larger, more expensive road and bridge projects. Projects that qualify for Federal and/or State Aid are typically paid at the rate of 90% State/Federal funds, and 10% Local funds. By taking advantage of this funding, when available, the Road Commission is able to accomplish many projects it would, more than likely, never accomplish without county-wide millage funds. Millage funds are also used to accomplish many other annual improvements and upgrades to the county-wide road system through a selection process that takes into consideration asset management, budget constraints, traffic volumes, and township priorities.
Do millage funds pay for snow plowing or other routine maintenance on my road?
Millage funds are not spent on routine maintenance activities such as snow removal, pothole filling, pavement marking, roadside mowing, tree removals, traffic road sign installation, etc.
By defining how these road millage dollars can be spent, the Road Commission has been able to make improvements to the county-wide road network to help meet the needs of its citizens.
Where can I go for more information?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Van Buren County Road Commission at 674-8011.