• MDOT's Authorization PositionRoughly one-third of the funding Michigan has available for investment in our roads and bridges is provided through federal transportation programs and paid for by federal motor fuel taxes (18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline tax and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel). Not only do these federal motor fuel taxes pay for investment in critical highway infrastructure like our Interstates, they are also a key component in improving mobility though the funding of our urban and rural transit and intercity bus systems.

    Periodically, Congress authorizes - or reauthorizes - the federal transportation programs used to deliver and direct funding. These authorization acts establish transportation policy and set funding levels for a period of time. Currently, the federal program is authorized under legislation known as the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, or SAFETEA-LU. SAFETEA-LU provided $286 billion for investment in our transportation system for the six year period ending on September 30, 2009.

    Congress is currently working on writing the successor to SAFETEA-LU. Since surface transportation authorization legislation plays such a significant role in determining what we do and what we invest in, Michigan has a vital interest in ensuring that the policies it enacts are sound and will result in the types of investments that will yield dividends for generations to come.

    The position papers developed by MDOT can be used as a guide as federal transportation policy is framed. This information is relevant to the on-going debate over the content of the next surface transportation authorization.