The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has teamed up with the I-95 Corridor Coalition and the Delaware Department of Transportation to test how to administer a road usage tax or fee based on the amount of miles a motorist drives.
Enacting a road usage tax was discussed by state legislators as they debated Act 89, which passed in 2013 to fund transportation projects.
The I-95 Corridor Coalition is not endorsing or lobbying for usage taxes or fees. Rather, it wants to study the unique challenges they could present on the East Coast. I-95 stretches along the East Coast from Maine to Florida. The coalition includes representatives from state and local transportation departments and authorities in 17 states and Washington, D.C., through which the interstate runs.
The few projects that have studied mileage-based usage taxes have been in California, Oregon and Washington. This will be the first East Coast study.
The coalition received a $1.16 million grant for the project. It hopes to recruit 50 drivers from both Pennsylvania and Delaware. Volunteers will track their mileage in a variety of ways, using everything from a pencil and paper to GPS tracking and a device that plugs into their car. They will not be charged a per-mile fee during the test. The coalition hopes to start the test in 2018 or 2019.