Taxing Miles, Not Gallons

Oregon's gasoline tax hasn't increased since the early 1990s. At its current level, the per-gallon tax provides about 60 percent of the funding to repair, maintain...
by | December 19, 2007

Oregon's gasoline tax hasn't increased since the early 1990s. At its current level, the per-gallon tax provides about 60 percent of the funding to repair, maintain and build the state's roads. But as vehicles become more fuel-efficient, revenue from the gax tax is eroding. To find an alternative, the state Department of Transportation tested a per-mile fee -- a system that calculates and charges drivers based on the number of miles they drive in the state -- between spring 2006 and spring 2007. The newly released results from the Road User Pilot Program finds that the mileage fee is a feasible alternative to the gas tax. It also concludes that the mileage fee can be paid at the pump and can be phased in over time to minimize the cost of equipping vehicles with on-board mileage-counting technology. The next phase will be to seek legislative adoption. To read the final report and watch a video podcast summarizing the pilot project, click here.