Oregon - still blazing a trail

Oregon was the first state to implement a gas tax to pay for roads in 1919. This summer, Oregon passed a bill for distance-based road use charge, which was similarly innovative within the scope of transportation policy in the United States. Oregon is an environmentally-friendly state, with a high number of hybrid, electric, and plug-in vehicles. The use of fuel-efficient vehicles reduces emissions, but also reduces fuel tax revenue, which is an important part of funding for infrastructure. In response to decreasing revenue from fuel tax, Oregon legislature created the Road User Fee Task Force in 2001 to address the situation. Over a decade of policy making resulted in the decision to switch from fuel taxes to distance-based charges. The new bill is the result: the Oregon Department of Transportation is to introduce a road usage charge of 1.5 cents per mile by July 1, 2015. Drivers who switch will pay by mileage and not pay fuel tax at the pump. Participation is voluntary and limited to 5,000 drivers. A number of other states are following Oregon's lead and working on similar policy initiatives. As technology changes, this could be the way forward for the transportation industry.


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  • Accession Number: 01495018
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 21 2013 10:05PM