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Californian

California’s State Legislature voted last week to provide $52.5 billion in transportation funding by increasing the fuel tax. The 10-year plan would boost gasoline excise taxes 12 cents per gallon – a 43% increase.

MacGregor 'Goya" Eddy, The Californian:
KPCC

The California legislature is expected to take action this week on a comprehensive plan to fund road repairs through an increase in the gas tax and other steps. But the state is also experimenting with a completely new way of raising money for highway maintenance: taxing consumers on how far they drive, rather than on how much gas they buy.

Meghan McCarty, Southern California Public Radio:

Latest Road Charge News

KEPR

This fall the state of Washington will begin a pilot program, testing a new system of charging drivers for the number of miles traveled, instead of charging a gas tax. How this change will impact drivers really depends on what kind of car you drive and how many miles you rack up per month. Right now, the state gas tax is 50 cents per gallon, and the transportation commission is looking at replacing that with a 2.4 cent tax for every mile that you drive in the state.

Elise Haas, KEPR TV:

Government Technology

Washington state has a problem. Transportation construction costs keep going up, and revenues from the gas tax, the primary source for funding such construction, remain largely flat. It’s a problem that’s bound to get worse. With electric vehicles and fuel efficiency becoming more common, the flat rate gas tax will do less and less to provide for needed construction.

Nicholas Deshais, Government Technology:

Equipment World

The Utah Department of Transportation wants to start a pilot project to tax the amount of miles a motorist drives, as a possible replacement to the state’s gas tax, according to The Salt Lake City Tribune. Several states, such as Oregon, have already begun such pilot programs. As cars become more fuel efficient and more electric cars come online, revenues from gas taxes will dwindle and not all drivers would be paying their fair share for road maintenance and construction.

Don McLoud, Equipment World's Better Roads:

Transport Topics

Next year the Washington State Department of Transportation expects gas-tax revenues to rise by 0.9%. It expects its construction costs to increase by 2.6%. The year after, it expects gas-tax revenue to increase by 0.7%. It expects construction costs to increase by 2.7%. Same story the year after that: Gas-tax revenue up 0.6%, construction costs up 3.1%. In a state where the vast majority of money for highway construction and maintenance comes from the gas tax, you can see a problem developing.

David Gutman, Transport Topics:

PJ Media

Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) floated the idea of enacting a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax as a way to fund infrastructure projects. A VMT would charge motorists based on how many miles they drive their cars. "Some transportation experts have begun to take a keen interest in a vehicle miles traveled charge or VMT - that fee for each mile of travel should serve as an alternative to the motor fuels tax, and I think it will eventually,"

Nicholas Ballasy, PJ Media:

Lens

The Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) road user charge (RUC) pilot program is scheduled to begin next year. WSTC officials hope to get 2,000 drivers to participate in the yearlong experiment to gauge the most effective way of tracking and calculating miles driven within the state, as well as the best way to collect the fees.

TJ Martinell, The Lens:

Yakima Herald

Washington state keeps increasing its gas tax even though it comes with diminishing returns. In 2015, the Legislature raised the state portion of the tax to 49.20 cents per gallon — one of the highest in the country — to fund essential projects such as the Interstate 90 expansion over Snoqualmie Pass and highways that improve access to Puget Sound ports, not to mention deferred maintenance of existing roads and bridges.

Yakima Herald-Republic Editorial Board:

PCMag

You may not give it much thought, but each time you fill up your gas tank at the pump, you're also filling federal and state coffers via fuel taxes. With an estimated 263.6 million registered passenger vehicles in the US as of 2015, that's a lot of money. But fuel tax revenue has declined in recent years because the federal fuel tax has not been raised since 1993, and is not indexed to inflation, while passenger vehicles are more fuel-efficient than ever.

Doug Newcomb, PCMag:

Walla Walla Union Bulletin

Washington is seeking about 2,000 drivers to test a new way to pay to maintain the state’s roadways. Officials say the aim of the Washington Road Usage Charge Project is to gain information on whether a per-mile charge paid by drivers could replace declining dollars from fuel taxes.

The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin:

Competetive Enterprise Institute

The fuel tax is becoming an increasingly unstable source of dedicated user revenue. Even when the proceeds that fuel taxes collect are dedicated to surface transportation infrastructure, which is often not the case, the vehicle fleet has become more fuel efficient and will become even more so in the coming decades.

Marc Scribner, Competitive Enterprise Institute:


CSP

Two East Coast states are about to test a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax, meant to either supplement or replace a gasoline tax. The I-95 Corridor Coalition, an alliance of transportation agencies, toll authorities and public safety organizations for East Coast states from Maine to Florida, will begin testing a VMT tax in Delaware and Pennsylvania, reported WTOP.

Samantha Oller, CSP Daily News:

San Francisco Chronicle

California is a global environmental leader, but it’s falling behind in one key respect: phasing out gasoline cars. Germany, India, Norway and the Netherlands are moving to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by or before 2030, and France and the United Kingdom by 2040.

Janelle London, San Francisco Chronicle:

Economist

In 1868 the world’s first traffic light was installed outside the Houses of Parliament. The gaslit signal controlled the flow of London carriages—at least for a few weeks. For, soon enough, the gas ignited. The resulting explosion knocked the helmet off a policeman’s head, and left him badly burned.

The Economist:

American Press

Most motorists and those who use other forms of travel seem to agree a majority of the nation’s highways, bridges, airports and railways are in terrible shape. Louisiana’s roads and bridges have been neglected for too many years, but taxpayers and legislators have refused to raise the construction and maintenance revenues needed.

Jim Beam, American Press:

Cision PR NewsWire

The I-95 Corridor Coalition is set to test the design, implementation and acceptance of user-based alternative revenue mechanisms for funding transportation after the U.S. Federal Highway Administration awarded the Delaware Department of Transportation, on behalf of the Coalition, a Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives grant for the multi-state project along the eastern seaboard.

CH2M, PR Newswire:

huffington post

We all rely on our nation’s transit systems, highways, bridges, ports and railroads to connect us every day to our jobs and families. These systems are also vital to the delivery of goods and services that drive our economy. But our infrastructure is failing at an alarming rate that is outpacing the government’s ability to finance repairs.

Chris Spear, Huffington Post:

Fleetworld

A pay-per-mile road tax that would replace fuel duty and VED and encourage fleets to move from diesel to plug-in vehicles has scooped this year’s Wolfson Economics Prize. The proposal, submitted by graduate transport planner Gergely Raccuja, is based upon the idea of a single per-mile charge based on rates dependent on the vehicle’s weight and its tailpipe emissions.

Natalie Middleton, Fleetworld:

Huffpost

The President’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan continues to be a hot topic of discussion despite other high profile policy debates in Washington these days. Within this discussion, an essential principle for funding upgrades to the nation’s highways, bridges and tunnels may be gaining traction: users of infrastructure should pay for that infrastructure.

Edward R. Hamberger, Huffington Post:

Greentech Media

The gas tax is catching up to electric vehicles in a growing number of states. Several states have passed or enacted new fees this year, bringing the total to 13, CNBC reported. Recent additions include West Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota and California, which is home to leading EV maker Tesla and a suite of policies designed to incentivize electric-car adoption.

Julian Spector & Julia Pyper, Greentech Media:



Streetsblog USA

Oregon has led the way in developing an alternative to the gas tax, with a program that levies a fee on vehicle miles traveled. While the Orgon Department of Transportation has spent years developing the mileage-based program and is ready to expand it to all vehicles statewide, it's not part of the massive transportation spending package under discussion at the legislature.

Stephen Miller, Streetsblog USA:

Wisconsin Public Radio

A Republican proposal would create a per mile fee for heavy trucks in Wisconsin to boost transportation funding. Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton proposed the idea as an alternative to raising the gas tax or adding tolls to Wisconsin highways.

Abby Ivory-Ganja, Wisconsin Public Radio:

Daily Citizen

Despite controlling both houses of the Legislature and the governor’s office, Republicans can’t seem to find common ground on the state budget, especially on the questions of funding for transportation and education.

Daily Citizen:


Forbes

The federal gas tax turned 85 yesterday – pretty respectable for an excise but nothing compared with federal levies on alcohol and tobacco, which first appeared in 1789.

Joseph Thorndike, Forbes:

CNBC

U.S. infrastructure suffers from a serious funding gap. In the quest to raise more money for infrastructure, the Trump administration recently proposed an increase in the federal gas tax. This has drawn renewed attention to America's infrastructure challenges.

Steve Odland and Rick Geddes, CNBC:

AEI

America’s surface transportation system faces a range of serious problems, which hamper its performance. Traffic congestion is a growing problem. Congested roads wasted 6.9 billion hours of motorists’ travel time and almost 3.1 billion gallons of fuel in 2014.

R. Richard Geddes, American Enterprise Institute:

The Dispatch

Washington, along with every state in the nation, utilizes a gas tax to provide a major source of funding for roads and bridges. It has been a reliable workhorse for decades, but its future sustainability is uncertain as vehicles become more fuel-efficient and alternative fuel sources emerge.

Reema Griffith, The Dispatch:

Connecticut Post

Days before a new state budget is due, the Legislature seems as dysfunctional as ever. Rome is burning and our leaders are just fiddling around. Only seven bills have passed and been signed into law compared to an average 275 in recent years.

Jim Cameron, Connecticut Post:

Reuters

U.S. gasoline demand fell year-over-year for the third consecutive month in March, according to federal data released Thursday, putting the country on track for its first year-over-year decline since 2012.

Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters:

The Hill

If there is a consensus among economists on any issue, it is that maximizing economic welfare requires prices to match costs. But when it comes to the massive “18-wheeler” trucks that haul cargo over the country’s roads and highways, the taxes they pay to use roads don’t match the costs they impose.

Robert D. Atkinson, The Hill:

The Lens

Washington drivers may have to decide if they prefer a road user charge (RUC) fee or higher prices at the gas pump every year to maintain the state’s revenue for transportation infrastructure.

TJ Martinell, The Lens:

City Lab

Last week, President Trump said he’d “consider” raising the gas tax. But Republicans in Congress swiftly doused the suggestion with cold water. That’s not much of a surprise: The national gas tax has been, for many years, a “third rail” for tax-averse Republicans and Democrats alike.

Laura Bliss, City Lab:


The Times

Drivers could pay by the mile to use the roads under a plan devised by the president of the AA to tackle falling fuel tax revenues. The “road miles” scheme suggested by Edmund King and his wife, Deirdre, an economist, has been shortlisted for the Wolfson economics prize and could win them £250,000.

Lucy Wainwright, The Times:




Wired

AMERICAN ROADS ARE CRUMBLING. You know this. You might even know crappy infrastructure cost an American family of four more than $3,000 a year. Or that, even after a 2015 transportation bill injected a lifesaving $70 billion into the federal highway fund, the Congressional Budget Office a projects an $8 billion funding gap when the legislation runs out in 2021.

Aarian Marshall, Wired:

The Californian

California’s State Legislature voted last week to provide $52.5 billion in transportation funding by increasing the fuel tax. The 10-year plan would boost gasoline excise taxes 12 cents per gallon – a 43% increase.

MacGregor 'Goya" Eddy, The Californian:

Folsom Telegraph

Just hours before the April 6 deadline, The California Assembly and Senate approved a plan late Thursday night that is going cost you a little more behind the wheel with a rise in both fuel and vehicle registration fees.

Bill Sullivan, The Telegraph:


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