By on March 9, 2015

Welcome to Oregon

With EVs and other fuel-efficient vehicles saving consumers money at the pump, Oregon will be the first to issue a per-mile road tax to refill its coffers.

Automotive News reports the state will offer two options to its motorists: pay at the pump, or pay a 1.5-cent rate per mile traversed. The latter will be conducted through a device that plugs into a vehicle’s OBD port, then gathers mileage data to determine how much the motorist will pay in tax.

Right now, the program — set to begin July 1 — will be implemented by the Oregon DOT in partnership with Sanef ITS Technologies America and Intelligent Mechatronic Systems, the latter supplying the aforementioned OBD mileage reader.

Up to 5,000 volunteers will participate in the initial program, which will compare the tax paid at the pump to the miles driven. The results will be turned over to ODOT, which will then determine if a motorist is given a refund or an invoice based on said findings.

Oregon won’t be the only one to undergo a road tax program: over 10 other states are either in the process of passing legislation or conducting trials for such programs.

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80 Comments on “Oregon To Be First In Nation To Implement Per-Mile Road Tax Program...”


  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    So, if I get this right, gas-guzzlers will likely get a refund check, while the folks driving Priuses (Prii?) or Leafs (Leaves?) would likely get tax due notices?

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I’m not finding a problem with it. If the tax is for road use, then it should be based on miles driven, regardless of what you’re driving.

      It doesn’t say for sure, but logically the payment should be the higher of the two calculated taxes, not the lower.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        ” If the tax is for road use, then it should be based on miles driven, regardless of what you’re driving.”

        EVs are smaller, lighter vehicles that hardly cause much wear on the roads as compared to say, medium or heavy duty trucks. Not to say EVs should get a free ride, but in general the more fuel a vehicle consumes, the more damage it causes to the roads. Therefore it makes sense for heavier vehciles to pay more overall because they cause more wear per mile, that’s why fuel taxes are typically higher on diesel. So it should matter what you’re driving.

        • 0 avatar
          EvilEdHarris

          I agree. Generally paying the tax at the pump takes care of the situation adequately because heavier vehciles (which do more damage to the roads) get worse mileage, and as a result contribute more to the tax base.

          If the per mile method is used to calculate the tax, like you said the vehicle weight really needs to be a primary factor.

          The one thing that has always been a HUGE issue for me is that Oregon allows so many drivers to use studded snow tires from around November 1 to March 31. Those tires do more damage to the roads than 50 vehicles yet no additional tax money is collected. Furthermore, studded snow tires provide less grip than a modern studless snow tire. Forgive me for my rant, but it will be interesting to see if Oregon does something about the studded tires issue.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Good point about studded tires. Those, and chains for that matter, really tear up the surface. I can’t think of an on-road instance where I’d wished I had studs. Modern snow tires work really well and are no where near as abrasive. Driving on frozen lakes and rivers on the other hand…

          • 0 avatar
            Firestorm 500

            My state, Arkansas, does not allow studded tires from April 1- October 31, which is basically the same thing.

            As far as I know, only Florida and Hawaii do not allow them at any time.

          • 0 avatar
            Russycle

            Yeah, I cringe every time I hear set of studs roll by. Especially this “winter”, which has been a joke. With the quality of modern studless snows, hardly anyone should be running studs anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            TR4

            @Firestorm 500,
            Eleven states and one province prohibit studded tires entirely:
            http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/D85C4BD5-A2C0-40F9-BA7E-40C54BB0BD50/0/StuddedTireChart.pdf

          • 0 avatar
            RS

            Here in Minnesota, studs were banned a long time ago….but we don’t have mountains either.

            Studs help on ice, but don’t do much for snow.

          • 0 avatar
            olddavid

            I don’t know what semi’s pay in road taxes these days, but every time I take my Teamster Son to work, I see 20-30 three trailer rigs heading up the hill from Swan Island. If the standard is 80,000#, then are these behemoths 240,000#? Wouldn’t anything that weighs in at multiple tons have to be even worse than those ridiculous studs?

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            I too am surprised by how many people run studs in the PNW. The states should have an ad campaign showing how well studless winter tires perform. TireRack had a video where studless tires even outperformed studded tires on ice.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            EvilEdHarris, your opinion on the use of studded tires may be reasonable for your area, but your views on studded tires in general are outdated, and based on the limited availability of modern studded tire designs in North America.

            The studded tires used in Europe are much easier on road surfaces than the archaic studs typically used here. Nokian claims that their studded tires only cause 20% of the road wear of the stud design from the 60’s that North Americans are still using.

            “If we compare studded tires of the past against modern studded tires with light metal studs we see that modern studded tires cause only 20% road wear in relation to typical studded tires of 60’s and early 70’s.”

            http://www.nokiantires.com/innovation/facts-about-tires/faq/

            Modern studded tires also work much better. Scandinavian testing shows that studded tires provide far more predictable traction in winter conditions than studless tires, and that’s why about 50% of Scandinavian drivers use studded tires. Studded tires have dominated their testing for many years.

            https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&rurl=translate.google.com&sandbox=0&sl=no&tl=en&u=https://www.naf.no/forbrukertester/dekktester/vinterdekktest-2014/&usg=ALkJrhjwufYkff5GxnbdcAxApPtTYJIhDw

            On cold, rough ice, the difference between studded and studless tires is minor. On very cold ice, where the studs cannot dig in and only chip the ice and improve traction for others, the best studless tires have a slight advantage; as high as 10%. The difference between studless and studded tires becomes dramatic when the ice becomes smooth, warm, and wet. In that situation, it’s not even close; the best studless tires will have a stopping distance of around two-and-a-half times that of the best studded tires.

            http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.zr.ru%2Fcontent%2Farticles%2F16906-test_shipy_i_lipuchki_na_ldu_kazus_gradusa%2F

            So keep on eye on the details when analyzing winter tire tests. The Tire Rack test was obviously not conducted on smooth, warm ice. That’s the dangerous, unpredictable ice that people often refer to as “black ice”. In that situation, even an archaic studded tire like the Firestone Winterforce used in the infamous Tire Rack comparison would put the modern studless tire to shame.

            Nokian is pretty straightforward in their advice:

            “If you have non-studded winter tyres, you need to be particularly careful at crossroads etc. where there may be wet ice or hard-packed snow. Studded tyres are superior to non-studded winter tyres on wet ice and hard-packed snow.”

            http://www.nokiantyres.com/innovation/safety/studded-or-non-studded-tyres/

            You don’t need to drive carefully on modern studded tires. They provide reasonable traction on every possible surface.

            Studded tires don’t make sense for every climate, but they do for mine, in Saskatchewan. I drive on icy roads almost every day for a few months of the year. Studded tires are somehow legal year-round here, and do not cause significant damage because freeze/thaw cycles destroy the roads before stud wear becomes a factor.

            Salting and sanding the roads is also completely unnecessary for any vehicle on good studded tires. I wonder how road life and maintenance costs would be affected if enough people used studded tires to render such things unnecessary here. IIRC, it only takes something like 25% studded tire usage to scratch up any road ice enough that polished ice surfaces are no longer an issue.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            It certainly would make sense to limit studded tire usage in areas where it’s causing excessive road wear, but it would probably make sense to start with heavier vehicles and older tire designs. If studded tire wear is similar to other road wear in that it’s proportional to vehicle weight to the fourth power, and Nokian is accurate on their 20% wear value compared to older stud designs, then a single half-ton truck running primitive studs may cause as much road wear as eighty compact cars on modern studded winter tires. Or 10,000, depending on how you apply the 20% value in the equation. Either way, it’s certainly a major factor.

            They could also cons1der lower speed limits specifically for vehicles running studded tires, if that would make a worthwhile difference.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Now that I think of it, Nokian is probably comparing to tires with steel-bodied studs. It’s still possible buy TSMI studs in steel, but most tire shops are probably using aluminum. Every stud I’ve ever pulled has been aluminum. So if the Nokian studs cause something like half the road wear of those, that brings the factor is down to 32 in my guesstimate.

            I’d like to see the actual numbers on these things.

      • 0 avatar
        jim brewer

        I have a problem. The combination of gas taxes and registration fees is a perfectly sensible easy to administer way of raising road revenue.

        The ultimate purpose of all this is to privatize the roads, as it would be quite easy for a state to sell those revenues to a third party.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Does anybody NOT think the dongles will get hacked in just a few months?

    In any case, it’s not as if electric vehicles are so common that special measures must be taken to ensure they “pay their fair share”. (And incentivising electric vehicles, especially in the hydro-powered Pacific Northwest, makes a lot of sense.) This is a solution in search of a problem. A per-gallon fuel tax, indexed to inflation, makes the most sense.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Fuel taxes under tax the wear and tear by electric vehicles, as they essentially pay nothing.

      If fairness is the goal, create broad categories of autos, perhaps base it on weight and fuel economy and derive a per mile driven tax to register and license drivers and cars. In terms of fairness, that would do it, as those driving thirstier, heavier vehicles would pay the most, while those driving lighter, more fuel efficient cars would pay the least.

      As it is now, those wealthy Tesla owners aren’t paying a nickel to maintain roads.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        “Fuel taxes under tax the wear and tear by electric vehicles, as they essentially pay nothing.”

        But marginally, they don’t “cost” anything in terms of wear, either. A 5k lb Tesla is basically weightless compared to even a moderately sized truck, nevermind an 80k lb 18-wheeler. It’s like complaining bikers and pedestrians don’t pay for their wear; it’s minimal.

        “As it is now, those wealthy Tesla owners aren’t paying a nickel to maintain roads.”

        Oh, so it’s the WEALTHY Tesla owners you’re angry about. It’s class warfare and “make them pay their fair share” it’s not actually about road wear. What are the odds a $250k/yr+ Tesla owner pays a little more in taxes than the $.32/gallon the gov’t gets per gallon of gas from the average $40k/yr schlub in the 10y/o F-150?

        Quite frankly, I’d feel a lot more sorry for municipalities and their infrastructure spending shortfalls if they could prove to me A) they hadn’t raided the coffers for non-road BS and B) they spent the money that they did on road stuff intelligently, fairly, and efficiently. Maybe Oregon has, I dunno, but I do know they’ve been paying for lots of bike paths and stuff. Here in Chicagoland, a politician wouldn’t even keep a straight face and say the gas tax money has been spent in an efficient and intelligent manner, not where there are crony contracts and endless layers of bureacrats mucking up the spending. Bleed the crooks dry.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Interesting. I get the logic of this. I give kudos to Oregon for coming up with a system to pay “either/or”.

  • avatar
    michal1980

    volunteers? that doesnt work for any sort of study.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    that doesnt work where i am

    gasoline taxes are at the federal level

    registration road tax is at the state level

    no one wants to take their hand out of your pocket, the only recourse is to buy a Tesla which is at $120,000 here (or a Leaf I guess)

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      When / if “the future” comes and all cars are electric, the cost of electricity and taxes on electricity will skyrocket. It’s not being touched now because EV’s are still a <1% niche and the ICE is king.

      Somebody will get paid. There is no escape.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Are there not state fuel taxes where you live?

  • avatar
    cwallace

    Road-use taxes like this would be a lot more palatable if they didn’t involve GPS tracking. The state already sees my car once a year for its safety inspection– if they want to do this, just log the mileage and send a bill.

    Cheaper, easier, and it’ll keep the tinfoil-hat brigade quiet.

    • 0 avatar
      carrya1911

      How much of that car’s mileage was on the state’s roads? A tax solely on what the odometer says might be fine for some, but it would undoubtedly screw a lot of people who drove out of state.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Oregon can’t stop people at the border and make them comply with this either. Of course, cross country electrics are pretty rare.

        Still, this so inefficient, they are likely losing money implementing it.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          Of course… it’s a government program. There is no incentive to make it more efficient, unless someone stands to gain monetarily and greases enough palms.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            The article mentions Sanef ITS Technologies America and Intelligent Mechatronic Systems. As with red light camera ticketing, there was likely no small amount of lobbying and campaign contributions involved.

            As Jim Brewer mentioned, the ultimate aim is to privatize the road system. The problem with that is twofold: 1. private entities aren’t very responsive to the taxpayer, and 2. the people who sign away public revenue to private entities, the politicians, are too incompetent to make a deal that protects the public. Just look at Chicago’s sale of parking meter revenue.

      • 0 avatar
        SP

        If there’s a lot of out of state mileage, then you would be better off paying the tax at the pump. At least unless other states would agree to honor the Oregon system and stop charging those drivers tax at the pump. (A few might, but probably not all). It’s probably not worth it for the states to try to balance the revenue, as it would generally be about the same for all. But some states (in the middle of things?) might put up a fuss.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @SP,
          Amalgamate States in less larger states. That would greatly reduce out of state drivers, reduce duplication of laws and regualtions and remove many wasted State civil servants who really aren’t required.

          Then you might not need this tax.

          Cut the US into 10 States.

          Look at it this way. Look at the NE States they are the smallest.

          Why?

          Do you need 50 States?

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      This certainly seems like a much better approach than an OBDII dongle. Have motorists self-report mileage when renewing their annual registration or getting a safety/emissions inspection, and surcharge accordingly as needed. If someone tries to cheat by under-reporting, you can tag them when they transfer the title or scrap the vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        stevelyon

        Under your plan, I could buy a beater, drive the wheels off it, lie through my teeth about the number of miles I drove, and set it on fire the day it is scheduled to be inspected.

      • 0 avatar
        S1L1SC

        Love this idea – SC has no inspection, so I would never pay a dime. And my odometer in the van is broken, so mileage never changes. Speedo works, I see no reason to fix.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I’ve been saying the same thing for a long time. There are so many opportunities for the state to record mileage – safety inspections, emissions inspections, title transfer.

      As for out of state mileage, not sure what to do there. Self-reporting, with random audits, I suppose, just like any other tax program. Save those receipts.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Roads are torn up more as a function of weight than traffic. Weight and fuel efficiency are closely correlated. Hybrids & electric cars break this correlation somewhat, but enough to justify tracking everyone’s mileage? Shades of police state. It would be better to have the gas tax set every year based on a budgetary formula, and you can either base it on $ per gallon or % of sales price or a hybrid of the two.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Great post.

      “Roads are torn up more as a function of weight than traffic. Weight and fuel efficiency are closely correlated.”

      Wait, so behemoth half tons and 4000lb midsize sedans are a bad thing?

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        If you pay by consumption of gas, as we do currently, you grossly undercharge for the damage done by heavier vehicles. Google ‘road damage as a function of weight’. If you charge strictly by number of axles and axle weight, only trucks would pay. The latter is clearly ridiculous. Been a long time since Traffic Engineering 101, but I think the ROM formulas still apply.
        Example – comparing an SUV to a mid-size sedan weighing half as much, you might collect twice as much per mile driven in consumption tax from the SUV, but it will do 8-16 times the damage to roadways. Comparing an 18 wheeler to the SUV, the 18 wheeler will do ROM 1000X (or more) the damage, but pay a consumption tax perhaps only 5-10X as much. I don’t imagine that registration taxes will make that up. Now consider that roads age by weathering with no traffic as all. Then blend the two types of road damage.
        There is no rational ‘equation’ that will satisfy all the players.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Not to mention a 14% to 20% increase in curb weight of generic midsize sedans in twenty five years in addition to a proliferation of SUVs and pickups vs the earlier period. How much weight were the highways spec’d for when they were designed forty years ago? I do wonder.

          MY90 Ford Taurus: CURB WEIGHT 2956 lbs

          http://www.edmunds.com/ford/taurus/1990/features-specs/

          MY15 Ford Fusion 2.5 FWD: CURB WEIGHT 3431 lbs.

          http://www.edmunds.com/ford/fusion/2015/?tab-id=specs-tab&sub=sedan

          MY15 Ford Fusion 2.0 AWD: CURB WEIGHT 3681 lbs.

          http://www.edmunds.com/ford/fusion/2015/sedan/st-200697198/?tab-id=specs-tab&sub=sedan

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            American highways have long been designed to carry 80,000-pound tractor trailers.

            The extra weight a 2015 Ford Fusion carries as compared to a 1990 Ford Taurus therefore isn’t going to make roads deteriorate any faster.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            For all intents and purposes, passenger cars do virtually nothing to contribute to road wear.

            It’s the heavy vehicles that do all of the damage. The cost of repairing the damage that they cause is being subsidized by everyone else.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            So a decrease in tractor trailer traffic corresponded with an increase in rail traffic could result in a net gain for road in terms of less damage?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Road wear could be reduced by reducing truck traffic, yes.

            Another approach would be to add axles to semi trailers. (Distributing the weight across more surface area would reduce the damage.) But our taxation system goes against this, as it tends to tax by the axle instead of by weight.

            Yet another approach would be to build thicker roads, as the Germans do. But that would entail higher up-front costs, and we tend to be too pennywise and pound foolish in this country for that to happen.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        If you pay by consumption of gas, as we do currently, you grossly undercharge for the damage done by heavier vehicles. Google ‘road damage as a function of weight’. If you charge strictly by number of axles and axle weight, only trucks would pay. The latter is clearly ridiculous. Been a long time since Traffic Engineering 101, but I think the ROM formulas still apply.
        Example – comparing an SUV to a mid-size sedan weighing half as much, you might collect twice as much per mile driven in consumption tax from the SUV, but it will do 8-16 times the damage to roadways. Comparing an 18 wheeler to the SUV, the 18 wheeler will do ROM 1000X (or more) the damage, but pay a consumption tax perhaps only 5-10X as much. I don’t imagine that registration taxes will make that up. Now consider that roads age by weathering with no traffic as all. Then blend the two types of road damage.
        There is no rational ‘equation’ that will satisfy all the players.

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          The relationship between vehicle weight and the damage they cause to the road is not linear.

          Virtually all roads have to be strong enough to withstand a pounding from 80,000-pound tractor trailers. The roads can therefore handle the extra weight of an Explorer or Silverado as compared to that of Prius without any problem.

          There is little, if any difference, in the amount of road damage caused by different types of light vehicles.

          The real damage is caused by heavy trucks. One large truck does as much structural damage to roads as 9,000 passenger cars and light trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          Which is why you go with the KISS principle. There is really no need to change yet. This is a solution looking for a problem and you don’t need a tinfoil hat to see it.

    • 0 avatar

      I wholeheartedly agree. Why should someone driving a Prius or MX-5 Miata assume the same responsibility of wear-and-tear as someone driving a Yukon XL Denali or F-350 Power Stroke?

      • 0 avatar
        jrmason

        Please show me some proof where the difference of say 2500lbs increases the wear and tear on a road. 80,000 lbs vs 4,000 I get. I don’t see a 6000 lb vehicle causing anymore damage than a 3500 lb vehicle, particularly when you factor in the foot print. Excluding sports cars, a bigger heavier vehicle generally has a wider tire than a small vehicle like a sedan or EV.

        Around here, the single biggest contributor to road conditions is the weather. The last 4 months has created more swells, buckles, and potholes than any vehicle regardless of weight could contribute to in a lifetime. Its a war zone out there.

        I understand its more expensive up front, but I have never understood why major roadways around here aren’t done in concrete. The long term cost has to be lower than asphalt.

        • 0 avatar
          chuckrs

          @jrmason
          Damage formulas that I remember from way back are pretty approximate – some constant times axle weight to either the 3rd power or 4th power.
          Google road damage as a function of axle weight
          focus on hits from xxxdot.gov and yyy.edu entries plus refereed papers published on line.
          You might also factor in an 18 wheeler is moving approx 50000lbs of cargo while an SUV or sport car usually move 125 to 250lbs of cargo…. ie, one person. Kind of re-equalizes things.
          If you were in the academic civil engineering business, you could publish on this topic for a whole career. Every damn paper wold gore someone’s ox.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Road wear caused by passenger vehicles of any size rounds to zero, virtually all wear is caused by heavy commercial vehicles. One loaded semi wears a road as much as thousands of light duty pickups or tens of thousands of cars.

      Furthermore, about three fifths of road spending goes to building new roads. Lighter and/or more fuel efficient vehicles are no less burdensome there, either.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      More irrational government policy, bordering if not crossing over into/onto corrupt practices, since neither a Nissan Leaf (or a Chevy Suburban, for that matter) does a fraction of damage to any road surface, on even a pound-for-pound scale, that a 80,000 pound tractor-trailer does to roads.

      To make it even more irrational/corrupt, almost every state that imposes general gasoline consumption taxes, or these per-mile-driven charges, does not put the proceeds into a fund that is guaranteed to ensure that such proceeds are used for road infrastructure repair/maintenance, such that these funds are often allocated towards other budgetary items that are in no way related to road maintenance.

      Finally, if anything, states should be rewarding, not penalizing, those who have followed the government’s own blah-blah about how great it is to break the carbon/fossil fuel energy addiction (nevermind for the moment that much of the electricity generated to power electric vehicles is produced by burning coal).

      It’s criminal.

      • 0 avatar
        carrya1911

        Let’s also remember that the EV’s and such often have subsidies or other government incentives for their purchase. So we, at the federal level, subsidize the purchase of some of these vehicles and then turn around and tax it at the state level because it brings in less revenue due to using less gasoline.

        Madness.

    • 0 avatar
      Aphidman

      One of those things that make life interesting: I once interviewed for a software job with a company that makes weigh scales for highway authorities around the world. One thing that they told me was that the highway wear-and-tear caused by a vehicle is proportional to its weight raised to the fourth power. In other words, doubling the weight of the vehicle increases the damage by a factor of 16.

      So, assuming that voters felt that it was just and fair to change the way that we tax motor vehicle travel, a formula like this might make sense:

      $$tax = n_1 ( weight ^ 4 ) × n_2 ( distancetravelled )$$

      (For the mystified, that’s LaTeX mathematical notation. I can’t seem to paste it as an image or as MathML.)

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    What if you have a car that does not have an OBD port?

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I have to imagine these scanners or the odometers will be tampered with to avoid payment.

    The gas tax isn’t exactly 100pct fair, but overall I have to think it’s about the best you can do, especially if considering big brother concerns. Heavier vehicles use more fuel in general and pay more. The more you drive the more you pay. You can’t avoid paying it. Collection and compliance costs have to be fairly low I’d think. Near perfect.

    I see this opening a new can of worms. People will mess with the GPS or the computer or odometer. This will necessitate some other type of system to ensure that this doesn’t go on, more money and more info collected. Then they’ll have to scan license plates at the gas station to be sure the number of fill ups doesn’t deviate too far from the reported mileage each year etc etc etc.

    All the while becoming less and less effective and efficient vs fuel tax and of course spending more and more money with preferred government contractors.

    And the end? Everyone pays more for less.

  • avatar
    mcs

    The problem in the Boston area is that many of the bedroom communities are in other states. Should someone in the rural Berkshires located in the western part of the state be paying for a New Hampshire drivers commute into Boston?

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      mcs
      Hey now, you get income tax out of me, so leave us NH commuters in Mass alone! haha

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Hey, I’d be affected too! My cheap booze wouldn’t be as cheap!

        My theory is that they will find a way to put in open road tolls, but between Commerce way and the “cloverleaf-of-death” to nail Mass residents as well. Then they’ll have the money to start work on the cloverleaf in 2040 when the planning finishes.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I have long been a proponent of funding roads by registration fees based on vehicle weight. Road funding is essentially used for maintenance, so a progressive tax at the point of annual registration based on a vehicles weight would be an extremely fair way to charge more to those vehicles that disproportionately cause damage/wear to our roads.

  • avatar
    ixim

    Any chance that the $$ will only go for roads? Solve that issue and just raise the fuel tax.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Taxes on everything, everywhere, are at an all-time high, and yet the governments of the country never seem to have enough money to fund things like roads?

    It isn’t a lack of revenue that’s the problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Topher

      Surely you’re joking:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States#History_of_top_rates

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Fun facts:

        China Pop: 1,393,783,836 / $1,800,000,000,000 = $1291.44 per citizen

        US Pop: 318,881,992 / $2,400,000,000,000 = $7526.295 per citizen

        The PRC’s top tax rate of 45% over 80000 RMB, which is:

        80000 Chinese Yuan equals
        12766.20 US Dollar

        Per Google.

        “China’s tax revenue came to 11.05 trillion yuan (1.8 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2013, up 9.8 percent on 2012”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_China

        “The population of China is estimated at 1,393,783,836 as of July 1 2014.”

        http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/china-population/

        “Today the IRS collects over $2.4 trillion each tax year from around 234 million tax returns.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_Revenue_Service

        US Pop July 4, 2014: 318,881,992

        http://www.census.gov/popclock/

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Fun fact, US per capita GDP dwarfs that of the Chinese. Mo’ money mo’ problems ‘mo taxes.

          In the United States the average family income in 2012 was $47,000.

          In China the average family income in 2012 was $2,100.

          Federal top line tax rates are near historical lows for this country – and the lowest they’ve been in our history while at war.

          State taxes have continued to climb, but if you feel state taxes are too high, blaming Washington D.C. is looking in the wrong place (and an area where you might actually have some real control).

          The political machine is so lovely here – the average voter is kept very distracted on issues like abortion, gay marriage, global warming, and Lindsay Lohan. I’ve found that the even with above average Americans, the informed level on local elections is next to nil.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Fun facts:
            The top marginal rates have little correlation with actual taxes paid for value consumed and not much more with effective income taxes paid. They do affect productivity and politics though not positively.

            Military spending is at a historic low for peace time.

          • 0 avatar
            Don Mynack

            Hey, keep Liho out of this.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So if I’m not a citizen of Oregon, but I fill up in their state, I have to pay the use tax with no chance of rebate if I am eligible for one?

  • avatar
    TW5

    Waste of taxpayer funds. Gasoline excise is already too narrow and too far removed from the economic benefit conferred by public roads. Road-use tax only make the problem worse.

    Plus, the primary reason we have public roads is to avoid use-based taxes. Why not just privatize road ownership, if you’re going to charge a toll for every mile driven?

    This is just a silly pilot program, passed by starry-eyed fascists who dream about taxing people back into the urban centers and silly oil-lobbyists who fret about electrical vehicles escaping taxation. In the end, per-mile doesn’t tax pass-through travelers or tourists without pointless complications. It’s a dumb policy, but people love that sort of thing, I guess.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    Isn’t all the talk here about vehicle weights, road wear, etc. just over-complicating what appears to be a shift in tax collection method to account for anticipated future improved gas mileage, electric vehicles, etc.?

  • avatar
    RS

    Why the dongle? Why not read the vehicles own computer (which already stores mileage info) when it’s time to buy a license and pay for the miles you just drove?

    The only issue with this or the dongle – can it tell the difference between Oregon miles and miles out of state?

  • avatar
    gasser

    Years ago in New York State the registration fees were based on weight. There was a base fee and then $.50/ hundred pounds over. (We might need to jiggle the rate a bit now.)
    Just raise the gas tax now, while prices are lower, an allow all states to get enough $ to do some good with these horrible roads. $1 spent on roads will probably save us $10 in bent rims (been there), blown tires (been there) and worn suspensions (been there multiple times).

  • avatar
    wmba

    Finally a jurisdiction is waking up to the fact that EVs are getting a free ride on road taxes normally collected on fuel purchases.

    I have never understood why EVs get buyer incentives and don’t pay road taxes. The rest of us subsidize this horse manure policy to our disadvantage.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    It’s great! The faster I Drive my G35 in the city the more the state pays me :).

    For me the tax pays me after 21mpg. Every mile under is more money back.

    As a Eugene Oregon resident for life, the High-mpg car ratio is about 1:5 (1 high-mpg to non). Tons of prius’s hybrid civis/accord and a metric ton of yuogurt-plastic wrapped Kia cars and Hyundais.

    The issue is not the pure electrics or hybrids, it is the 25+mpg city / 40mpg+ highway cars and the car-pooling that goes on. we also have about 2x as many diesels as we did 5 years ago.

    There are significant tax losses going on with the upward mpg gains and the local Gov is fumbling around with a low populous state with many more miles of state maintained road than we can afford to pave.

    the Truly stupid part… (soapbox) is we have 1 lane of concrete for our I5 highway that has not needed real maintenance in 15 years… and every other road is that garbage low heat asphalt they pay $ to rip out, then pay $ to replace all in the name of union job requirements. dumbasses.

  • avatar
    DearS

    I think I would very much love some Transparency. I feel I live in a country with where the majority are ostriches, with their heads in the sand. I feel depressed just thinking about ostriches!

  • avatar
    Carilloskis

    I know that I am paying more than my fair share of road taxes as I drive a lot of off road driving on roads that are not maintained by the highway trust fund. when I’m off road in the raptor diff locked or 4×4 in off road mode (which puts the truck into a higher power band) I only get about 9 mpg when I’m on a highway I get between 16-21 MPG depending on speed terrain and tire types. Why am I paying for roads that I’m not using? I know that I don’t want the government tracking my every move, but I don’t like other people getting a free ride. I also have modern winter tires with studs for the Raptor in winter I can tell the additional grip is there over when I had the same tires without the studs. I believe that the only tires you can get studded today are winter tires which have more advanced winter rubber compounds.

    If states wanted to generate more revenue from the gas tax up the speed limits to 80 MPH like many western states have done, its no secret that cars burn more fuel than the 55MPH of the EPA test cycle so if everyone is going faster and using ultimately more fuel they are spending more on road taxes.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I’ve had enough and can’t keep it in anymore. This is nothing but a bunch of statist nonsense and if you don’t get it, you deserve an all expenses, one way trip to Cuba.

    There is not one post here, or comment anywhere else for that matter, justifying these devices.

    First, claiming you need to tax everyone a new way because the cars you are subsidizing are getting a free ride (which is likely less than the subsidy over the life of the car anyway) should be met with outrage.

    Second, the Rube Goldberg method of the tax should be reason for its dismissal as stupidity and those backing it run out of government.

    Third, this is nothing but a boldfaced lie. They want the device in your car in the hopes that they can use it for something. I don’t know what, but it’s plain they aren’t doing this for the roads, or even for the children. They want the data, or they want to raise the taxes, or they want a shiny new building full of government workers or whatever. Don’t care.

    Anyone with any sense would look at the amount of revenue justified and propose to get it in a different way unless they had another purpose. I won’t be surprised if one of the people involved gets water boarded into confessing, and frankly, I won’t feel one bit that the non torturous ordeal was out of proportion to the treasonous, Anti-American crime.

    And before you ask, yes, that’s how I really feel.

    Good Day!


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