LANSING – Michigan has a gas tax, and that funding is used toward road improvements, but as cars use less gas or go electric, lawmakers are considering other ways of funding the state’s rough roads.

“It creates a declining revenue source for how we fund and fix our roads. That challenge is coming to every state in the nation,” said Rob Coppersmith the executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.

Jennifer Mendelson begins to fill her car’s gas tank at a station near downtown Seattle, Tuesday, March 11, 2008. The cost of filling up the family car jumped to a record high Tuesday, adding to the challenge consumers already face with falling home values and rising food prices. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

MITA represents companies that work on our state’s roads, bridges and utility systems. Coppersmith said MITA is in favor of a user-based tax to fund road improvements.

“Revenue is declining at the pump due to vehicle efficiencies,” he said. “[But] every year we chug along, we’re losing a lot of money.”

Lawmakers are considering funding a pilot program that would take a look at the possibility of changing the gas tax to a different usage tax like a mileage tax, toll road, or even tracking vehicles.

“If the residents of Michigan don’t like road usage charges, then we’re going to have to find out another way that we can collect the needed revenue and maintain our system and, and build on it,” Copperfield said.

But Republican Rep. Donni Steele said she doesn’t want to see taxes raised.

“Yes, there is a shortfall. However, I think if we were more efficient on our overall budgeting that there’s room in other areas that we could utilize without having to increase taxes overall to fund our roads,” said Steele.

She said she would rather see lawmakers make sure there aren’t duplicate government programs eating up funding.

“Eliminate the overlap and make sure that they’re accountable and that they’re actually doing what they were designed to do, and that they’re actually doing the help in which that they’re they were designed to help,” Steele said.

The Michigan Department of Transportation said in a statement that it is “too soon to say what form it would take but MDOT officials are working collaboratively with lawmakers on workable language for their request.”

Reported By CBS News