Oregon weight-mile tax decisions announced

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has denied a petition from the Oregon Department of Transportation to allow the state to continue requiring interstate motor carriers to display weight-mile tax credentials in commercial motor vehicles.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) prohibits states from requiring carriers to display in, or on, CMVs any form of identification other than forms required by the Secretary of Transportation, unless the Secretary rules them appropriate. FMCSA stated it could find no evidence to support a determination that the display of the WMTCs is appropriate.

Separately, the Motor Carrier Transportation Division has announced a change regarding the election to pay the state’s weight-mile tax on the basis of actual miles traveled or annual flat fees. Carriers eligible to make the election must choose to pay mileage or flat fees for the entire calendar year. They may not switch from one payment method to the other at any time during the year.

Until now, it was common for certain types of carriers to opt for the mileage-based tax during slow business winter months, and then switch to flat fees during the busy summer months. ODOT made the change after conferring with the Oregon Department of Justice regarding Oregon Revised Statute 825.480.