Published On: Fri, May 22nd, 2015

Oregon’s new gas tax: charge by the mile, punish fuel efficiency and track citizens

Oregon is rolling out the first-in-the-nation program aimed to charge car owners not for the fuel they use, but rather for the miles they drive. The test is set to begin July 1 as volunteers (up to 5,000) can register and drive with devices monitoring the miles they’ve driven and where.

The volunteers will agree to pay $0.15 (one and a half cents) for each mile traveled on public roads within Oregon, instead of the tax that’s added when drivers fill up at the gas pump.

The program is meant to help the state come up with more money to pay for road and bridge projects as gasoline tax revenue is declining because of more fuel efficient and electric vehicles on the road.

Photo/donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Photo/donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Oregon’s Department of Transportation rep Michelle Godfrey recognized that “No one wants a new tax, and this is what it is,” she said. “It’s an alternative to an existing tax, but most people are not aware of what they are paying in gas taxes, so they have to be educated.”

The state put out a comparison for drivers and a calculator on its website to see how it would work in practice: The example was a 2014 Toyota Prius and a 2014 Ford F-150, both driving 12,962 miles in a year. Under the fuel tax model, the F-150 pays by way of the fuel tax: $216.03, to the Prius’ $77.77.

Under the new plan: OReGO, they’d both pay the same amount into the state’s highway fund — $116.66 — the F-150 saves money. The F-150 driver would save a little over $20 a year. The Prius driver, by comparison, would fork out almost $200 more a year.

“It might be a bit of a shock at first to see the actual amount they are paying, but I believe it is empowering to drivers,” said Godfrey. “It will help them to determine how they drive and if certain trips are necessary.”

The plan is also under attack for tracking citizens, or at least the “where they drive” as part of the program. No response to questions resolving discrepancies if the tracker calculates a different figure than your odometer or why the added penalty for energy conscience car owners.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. soakee says:

    People buy more fuel-efficient vehicles to get around high fuel prices. People use tax loopholes to get around paying more taxes. I foresee a whole new age of odometer tampering.

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