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BRIEF HISTORY AND SOURCE OF ROAD COMMISSION REVENUE

History

Michigan Public Act 149 of 1893 enabled counties to establish county road commissions through an election called by the County Board of Supervisors.  The first Board of County Road Commissioners of Alpena County was elected in April of 1894.  They held their organizational meeting on June 25, 1894.  Michigan only had 17 established county road commissions by 1905, at which time the Michigan State Highway Department was established.  Certainly the Alpena County Road Commission is one of the oldest in the State.

County road commissions were organized by Public Act 283 of 1909 to achieve two primary goals:  To provide continuity in road construction and maintenance across the state; and to provide cost-efficient and high-quality road services for county roads.

The McNitt Act of 1931 mandated that each Michigan county road commission assume jurisdiction over 20 percent of the township roads in the county each year for a 5-year period.  ACRC had completed the takeover of all of our township roads by 1935.

 

Funding

The primary source of revenue to county road agencies comes from the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF).  Act 51 of 1951 established the current method of funding Michigan's state trunklines, county roads and city streets and remains the only dedicated source of funding to finance the maintenance and improvement of county roads.  Under the Act, state-collected fixed cents-per-gallon motor vehicle fuel taxes, vehicle license and registration fees and other transportation-related fees are distributed to the 83 county road commissions, 533 cities and villages and MDOT under a complex distribution formula adopted by the Michigan legislature.  The legislature has also set aside a portion of these state-collected highway user fees to be used for a variety of non-highway purposes.  Boards of county commissioners and township boards are legally empowered to allocate monies from their respective general funds to finance maintenance/improvement of county roads.  In addition, road commissions are eligible recipients of a variety of Federal and State grants for improvements to county roads and bridges.