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Oregon to Test Replacement for Gas Tax

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Oregon is ready to test the first U.S. revenue program that will charge car owners for miles driven rather than a fuel tax.

The program is meant to help the state fund road and bridge projects at a time when money generated from gas taxes are declining across the country because of greater fuel efficiency and increasing popularity of fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric cars.

Starting July 1, up to 5,000 volunteers in Oregon can sign up to drive with devices that collect data on how much they have driven and where. The volunteers will agree to pay 1.5 cents for each mile traveled on public roads within Oregon, instead of the tax now added when filling up at the pump.

Some electric and hybrid car owners, however, say the new tax would be unfair to them and would discourage purchasing of green vehicles.

State officials say it is only fair for owners of green vehicles to be charged for maintaining roads, just as owners of gasoline-powered vehicles do.

While growing in popularity, electric vehicles and hybrids are still in the minority on American roads, even in a state as green-minded as Oregon. Of 3.3 million passenger cars registered in Oregon at the end of 2014, about 68,000 were hybrid, 3,500 electric and 620 plug-in hybrid. A decade ago, only 8,000 hybrids were registered.

However, fuel-economy for gas-powered vehicles has been increasing as technology is developed that addresses public concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil.

Oregon is the only state to actually test-drive the pay-per-mile idea.

 

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Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
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Little Rock, AR 72201

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You are here: Home News In Brief Oregon to Test Replacement for Gas Tax