A Look at Oregon’s Program to Tax Drivers by the Mile

As more Oregon residents use high-mileage and hybrid vehicles and drive less, the state’s 30-cents-per-gallon gas tax apparently isn’t quite cutting it, Fox News reported.

But there may be a solution: OReGO — the first pay-by-the-mile program in the U.S., which the state hopes will eventually replace the gas tax, Fox News said.

Image source: KTVL-TV
Image source: KTVL-TV

While the Oregon Department of Transportation program is voluntary now and capped at 5,000 participants, officials hope to make it mandatory in the future as a way to pay for roads.

“We’re trying to make up for a growing deficit, really, because inflation’s eating away at our ability to buy asphalt and rebar and the things we need to maintain the roads,” Tom Fuller of the ODOT told Fox News.

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According to a national usage fee alliance, 28 states are in various stages of following down the same road. However, there are also privacy concerns. Two of the three OReGO systems track and store a car’s every move.

“To put a GPS monitor in everybody’s car, the government already knows too much about us as it is,” Jeff Kruse, a Republican lawmaker told Fox News.

Others are raising questions about the cost. Getting the gas tax is cheap, but OReGO vendors will eat up 40 cents of every dollar collected, and for those not used to paying any gas tax, it could be a whole new sticker shock – every month.

Jeff Allen, of “Drive Oregon,” supports the one and a half cent per mile usage fee — to a point.

“We need to be subsidizing and incentivizing electric cars and not putting more taxes or fees on them, not discouraging people from buying them in any way,” Allen said.

(H/T: Drudge Report)

Follow Dave Urbanski (@DaveVUrbanski) on Twitter

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