Four-Year Road & Non-Motorized Path Millage
On Tuesday, November 8, Washtenaw County voters approved a road and non-motorized path millage that will fund approximately 200 miles of road improvements over the course of four years. In addition to road improvements, the millage also provides funding to expand the County’s pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure.
Washtenaw County levied a similar 0.5 mill road tax (using Public Act 283) in 2015 and 2016 which funded approximately 140 miles of road improvements and allowed the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) to rebuild some of the worst roads in the county, such as Scio Church Road, Golfside Road, and North Territorial Road. Click here to learn more about P.A. 283.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which roads will be repaired?
WCRC has put together a four-year road improvement plan that outlines what projects will be completed each year the millage is levied. WCRC will use millage revenue to improve the primary road network. Primary roads are designed for collecting traffic from local roads and connecting motorists to state highways, freeways, cities, and villages.
When would road work begin?
The millage will appear on Washtenaw County resident’s winter tax bill and road improvements will begin the following summer. The first year of projects will begin in summer 2017.
How would the revenue generated by the millage be divided?
All revenue generated by the millage stays in Washtenaw County.
- WCRC receives $3.3 million per year to fund road work in the county’s twenty townships.
- Cities and villages receives $2.5 million per year, with specific allocations based on the amount raised within a municipality’s borders. For example, the City of Ann Arbor would receive approximately $2 million.
- The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission receives $1.5 million per year to support the expansion of the county’s non-motorized path network.
How is this millage different from Ann Arbor’s street millage?
The four-year road and non-motorized path millage funds road improvements in every city, village, and township throughout Washtenaw County. Ann Arbor’s street millage, approved by voters during the August 2 primary, only funds improvements within the City’s borders. The City’s millage does not fund any improvements to the 1,649 miles of county roads, including many commuter roads into Ann Arbor, such as Huron River Drive, Pontiac Trail, and Geddes Road.
I understand that the State recently approved a road funding package. Why isn’t that enough to fix Washtenaw County’s roads?
Between 1997 and 2015, there were no increases in state road funding which comprises a majority of WCRC’s revenue. During these years, no adjustments were made to the fuel taxes to keep pace with inflation or to balance the reduction in gas tax revenue due to cars’ increased fuel efficiency.
In November 2015, state lawmakers approved a package that will increase road funding. Unfortunately, road agencies will not receive the full amount of funding until 2021 and half the funding outlined in the package is not guaranteed. The proposed millage will help fill the funding gap while Washtenaw County awaits the full phase-in of new funding. Additionally, the millage will provide the County with a funding mechanism to continue improving county roads if state lawmakers do not fully actualize the road package.
How would the non-motorized funds be spent?
The Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission will receive 20% of the revenue generated by the millage (approximately $1.5 million per year) which will go towards completing the remaining 11 miles of the 35-mile Border-to-Border Trail (B2B) along the scenic Huron River. The Parks Commission will also use millage funds to reenergize the Connecting Communities Program which has funded a number of important pathways throughout the county, such as the Lohr/Textile Greenway, the loop-path around Ford Lake, the Barker Road path in Whitmore Lake, and the Geddes Road Greenway.