When you pay for utility services, such as electricity, water, telecommunications, etc., you get a bill from your provider that reports how much you used, the rate charged per amount used and the total you owe. You know how much you used and the basis on which you were charged, as well as the identity of the service provider. With road funding, however, how much you paid and the identity of the provider are not easy to keep track of.
In “Rethinking America’s Highways,” a co-author of this policy brief showed that several years ago the average U.S. household paid just $46 per month in federal plus state fuel taxes — far less than it paid for other utilities. For instance, electricity for the average household cost $107 per month at that time. Further, drivers often do not know what entity owns which roadways and therefore whom to hold accountable for problems. Many people think the federal government owns the Interstate highways rather than the states, or that cities own roads that are owned by the county road commission. In Michigan, all township roads, including subdivision roads, are owned and maintained by the county road commission, not the township government. The township government often erroneously gets blamed when the road doesn’t get plowed or potholes don’t get filled.
 Robert W. Poole, Jr., “Rethinking America’s Highways” (University of Chicago Press, 2018), 182.