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Oregon Begins Mileage Tax Pilot Project

Northwest News Network | Nov. 21, 2012 3:05 p.m.

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A Chevy Volt plugs in to a public charging spot in Olympia. Photo by Tom Banse

A Chevy Volt plugs in to a public charging spot in Olympia. Photo by Tom Banse

About 40 Oregon drivers are spending this fall measuring their miles on the road. It’s part of a pilot project to study alternatives to the gas tax.

Oregon lawmakers ordered the research out of concern that gas tax revenue will decline as more drivers switch to hybrid or electric vehicles. That could reduce funding for road maintenance.

Tammy Denny of Pendleton, Oregon is on a governor’s task force studying ways to calculate road fees based on mileage. She’s also taking part in the study. So Denny is keeping track of the 2,000 to 3,0000 miles she drives every month.

“It all boils down to money. We have to have the financial resources to maintain the roads we all drive on. We just don’t think about how they’re all funded. It’s huge. ”

Earlier this year, Washington lawmakers passed a flat $100 fee for electric and hybrid car owners. But Washington is also participating in Oregon’s road mileage study. Wash DOT is recruiting 20 drivers to begin measuring their miles on the road next month.

On the Web:

Road Usage Charge Pilot Project (Oregon Dept. of Transportation)

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network. To see more, visit http://www.nwnewsnetwork.org/.

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