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Oregon moves forward with per-mile tax plan

The usage-based tax program aims to protect against budget shortfalls from declining gasoline-tax revenue.

Oregon is moving forward with its pilot program, known as OreGo, that will tax car owners based on mileage driven rather than gasoline consumption.

The initiative is said to be the first example in the country, likely to be replicated by other states as legislators attempt to protect against budget shortfalls from declining gasoline-tax revenue.

Proponents argue that a per-mile tax is a fairer way to collect revenue from drivers, requiring payments proportional to actual usage of the roads and infrastructure that is maintained via the collected revenue.

Drivers of electric vehicles currently pay no gas tax, and some argue that they should not have to. One Oregon EV owner told the Associated Press that a usage-based tax is "discriminatory," while others argue that it would discourage wider adoption of green vehicles.

Scheduled to start July 1, the pilot program will involve up to 5,000 volunteers. Each will be provided with a GPS device to log mileage, taxed at a rate of 1.5 cents per mile. Drivers will still pay the gas tax at the pump, however they will receive a credit for the difference at the end of the month.

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