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Michigan gas prices will rise in 2017 for a few reasons

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan motorists will see state taxes on gasoline and diesel jump this weekend.

On New Year’s Day, the gas tax is rising 7.3 cents a gallon.  The diesel tax is increasing by 11 cents.  The increase will give Michigan the 5th highest gas tax in the nation.   

The tax increase, along with state auto fees, will help fund desperately needed road repair and improvements across the state.

Denise Donahue is the director of the County Road Association of Michigan.  She says it’s important for motorists to see the money being used to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads.

“I do think the public’s going to be very pleased as these projects start to kick in.  Some will certainly be underway by this summer,” says Donahue, “We really won’t see the full benefit of these funds until 2021.”

Donahue says Michigan’s road problems are decades in the making and may take decades to fix.

Michigan motorists will definitely feel the pinch at the pumps.  And it’s not just the state’s tax bite.

Michiganders shouldn’t expect much relief when it comes to gasoline prices in 2017.

Gasoline prices in Michigan are running about fifty cents higher than this time last year.

One analyst expects prices will continue to rise in 2017.

Patrick DeHaan is with GasBuddy.com.   He says gasoline prices have been rising steadily since the beginning of November.

DeHaan expects prices at the pump in 2017 will probably continue to run 20 to 30 cents higher than in 2016.

“We could get close to that three dollar a gallon figure,” says DeHaan.

DeHaan says one unknown is how the incoming Trump administration’s policies might affect the oil industry.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.