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Oregon begins move to mileage tax

Oregon, building on its successful pilot project testing the idea of a mileage tax, may begin the formal process of transitioning to a statewide mileage tax in 2009. Governor Ted Kulongoski has submitted the Jobs and Transportation Act of 2009 to legislators, and the Act includes provisions for a 2 cent gas tax increase to fund the transition.

As Oregonians drive less and demand more fuel efficient vehicles, it is increasingly important that the state find a new way, other than the gas tax, to finance our transportation system. The Governor proposes continuing the work of the Road User Fee Task Force – which will begin to partner with auto manufacturers to refine technology that would enable Oregonians to pay for the transportation system based on how many miles they drive. The Governor is committed to ensuring that rural Oregon is not adversely affected and that privacy concerns are addressed. During this transition, the Governor's plan includes a temporary two-cent gas tax increase to provide the short-term revenue needed to adequately fund Oregon's transportation system as the state identifies longterm solutions for sustainable funding.

The Oregon DOT's "frequently asked questions" on the mileage tax pilot program can be found here.

The proposed legislation also includes proposals to allow "pay as you drive" auto insurance and a congestion pricing pilot project that would include dynamic or time of day pricing.

Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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