ROADS/BRIDGES: Lawmakers meet in Washington to discuss mileage-based user fee

Feb. 23, 2016

A plan to tax drivers based on miles traveled instead of gallons of gas used is being discussed by lawmakers

Supporters of the Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance (MBUFA) will meet in Washington D.C. today to discuss a plan to tax drivers based on the number of miles traveled instead of how many gallons gas bought.

The proposed plan serves as an alternative to the current 18.4-cent gas tax currently used to pay for infrastructure improvements.

California and Oregon are already conducting pilot programs that will track the mileage of 5,000 voluntary drivers and are given several options on how to track and report their mileage, which do not require installing additional technology in their vehicles.

Transportation advocates have suggested a switch to a mileage-based program as an alternative to raising the gas tax, but critics have raised concerns about potential invasions of drivers' privacy. 

The 2015 highway funding bill includes a grant program called the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives that provides $95 million for to help states study alternatives to the gas tax revenue to pay for transportation projects.

"While many states have studied or tested mileage-based user fees, for the first time federal funding was approved for such activities in the FAST Act," the group said.

"Section 6020 of the new law creates a $95 million, five-year grant program to pilot mileage-based user fees in states and regions across the country. With the addition of federal funding, it is expected that far more states will pilot this transformational road funding technique." 

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