Kent County Road Commission – How is KCRC financed? 

Taxes from fuel on gas and diesel combined with fees from vehicle registration comprise the major sources of revenue for the Kent County Road Commission. KCRC does not receive revenue from property taxes, nor does it receive allocation from the County of Kent. The statewide revenue from fuel tax and vehicle registration is placed into the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF), from which funds are distributed by formula to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), counties, and cities and villages. 

Michigan Transportation Fund The largest source of revenue for KCRC is the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF).  This statewide fund is supported by taxes on the sale of gasoline and diesel fuel as well as the fees collected by the Secretary of State for vehicle registrations.   

Federal and State Grants The next largest source of revenue for KCRC is Federal and State Grants for road and bridge improvements. The grant funding process is administered by the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council (GVMC).  From year to year, there have been substantial changes in the number, scope, and cost of projects funded by grants.  Over the last several years, KCRC has secured approximately 35% of available grant funds to this area.  

Contributions from Local Government include funds that the townships of Kent County contribute toward construction and other road improvements.  Over the last three years, these contributions have trended upward as townships are investing more in road improvements and pavement preservation treatments to maintain roads in good condition. 

State Trunkline Maintenance Contract While revenue from the State Trunkline Contract has remained relatively constant over the last five years, the manner in which these funds are used has changed considerably.  Currently, more of those revenues are being used to support winter maintenance operations rather than routine summer maintenance activities because of the higher cost of items such as fuel, salt, and equipment.   

Other Revenue represents the smallest source of funding to KCRC.  This category consists of a variety of revenue-generating activities including: sale of excess equipment, material sales such as salt. 

The Expeditures Graph, below, shows two significant expenditure trends since FY2004: a steady increase in expenditures for Routine Maintenance and a corresponding decrease in Construction & Preservation. Increasing expenditures for Routine Maintenance can be primarily attributed to significant increases in the cost of fuel, materials, and equipment since FY2004.  To make up for the lack of an increase in revenue, KCRC has had to reduce expenditures in several areas of the organization, especially road improvements.


Click to download KCRC’S Strategic Plan.


2018 KCRC Budget

2018 KCRC Budget


How does KCRC decide what projects will be funded?

KCRC’s Strategic Plan outlines a blueprint for maintaining and preserving our road and bridge network. Projects for potential funding are considered based on this plan and in terms of pavement conditions, traffic patterns, public feedback, and how much money is available. Not all projects are eligible to receive federal aid funds and KCRC must balance the amount of money available with what type of fix is most appropriate for each roadway and bridge.  
The local road network is supported by KCRC’s partnership with townships and the matching…

Is it true that Michigan spends less on roads than any other state?

Yes. Michigan spends about $154 per capita in road investment. The next closest state is Ohio at about $214 per capita - this equates to Ohio spending $1 billion more on roads annually.  

We pay property tax. Why isn’t that enough to cover fixing our roads?

The property tax you pay is used for your local and county governmental units and schools, not for roads. Instead, the majority of the KCRC budget is funded by the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF), which includes revenue from gas tax and vehicle registration fees.  More regarding KCRC's funding sources is available here.

Why are European roads in better condition?

Because far more resources are dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of European road networks Let’s do a price comparison in US dollars by gallon: For a US gallon of gas costing $3.27, 43 cents of that goes to taxes. In England, the same gallon of gas would cost you $7.23 of which $4.63 accounts for taxes. While our roads are built to industry standards, we invest less in their timely preservation treatments and routine maintenance to extend their lifespan.