Congress eyes Vehicle Miles Traveled tax

By Jill Dunn on

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering legislation that would create a pilot program to research vehicle miles traveled as a new funding source for the Highway Trust Fund. 

The bill would require the federal treasury conduct studies to demonstrate the viability of a VMT revenue source in every state.  Oregon Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer sponsored the legislation to create a program similar to the pilot program undertaken in his home state.

Fuel efficient vehicles have resulted in insufficient revenue for the Highway Trust Fund. The Congressional Budget Office has said the newest fuel economy standards for automobiles will result in a 21 percent reduction in HTF revenue by 2040.

Nevada, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas and New York have had pilot projects charging drivers for the miles traveled rather than fuel consumed. Oregon is beginning the second phase of its project, which will expand the pool of users and test collection methods to address questions raised in the initial phase.

Rather than VMT, the trucking industry has supported adjusting the fuel tax rate to inflation, which has not occurred since 1993. 

The bill was referred to committee Dec. 17 with no co-sponsors.

6 comments
tom Davison
tom Davison

Oregon is a bad example, or a good example of a State with it's own agenda. They refused to participate in the IFTA agreement, and have opted to do their OWN thing by charging every commercial transporter $0.136 per traveled mile. AND we still have to "register" with our IRP providers and have Oregon listed on own registration. Last year the total amount added to the cost of traveling in and through Oregon was over $5500. And we only travel there once a week. Imagine if it was 20 trucks. Imagine every State doing that? Hope they like rate increases

Lyle
Lyle

I forgot to mention, if I'm being held accounbtable for the condition of my truck, and I get fined, CSA points, and who knows what else, because the roads are tearing up my truck, then the government should get fined for the roads that our funds are supposed to maintain!

Where are my tax dollars going now?

Lyle
Lyle

Why don't we start by using the highway money for the highway instead of pay raises for the government.

I drive all over this country, and the misappropriated funds is rediculess. Keep the highway money for the highway, and we won't need to increase any highway taxes!

DEHOPPE
DEHOPPE

None of these programs should be surprising...

Governments, like corporations have long term thinkers...

The framework for these unfolding events was conceived years ago...

Implementations of these programs is subject only to manipulated public opinions and the weighed political costs to the policy makers in office at the time of the presented opportunities...

Seldom are these policies spontaneous...

JosephHartz
JosephHartz

Why doesn't the federal government trim their own expenses instead of pushing more taxes on trucks. As an owner operator, I'm making far less than ever before and  considering closing shop. I have no pension , health benefits or job security , but the government wants more money! Maybe when all trucks are parked and people have to make the things they want ,they'll realize they went too far!

Terri Riggs
Terri Riggs

Now we are to be penalized because we are conserving fuel?! we pay sales tax on the vehicle, license fees, and a fuel tax already. If the govt. stopped raiding the highway funds for social welfare programs such as public transit the fees collected now would be adequate, and maybe the highways would actually be maintained!

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