Oregon Transportation Managers Research New Ways to Collect Tax

May 14, 2012

By Jessica Debbas

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Right now Oregon drivers don’t get to choose how they pay their road tax, but that could change.

Oregon transportation managers are looking at new ways to collect road user tax. One of those ways is charging motorists based on how much they drive.

The new approach all stemmed from a loss of revenue from the state fuel tax because more people are driving fuel efficient cars or electric and hybrid ones.

So, to make up for that drop, this system would measure your mileage.

ODOT says this method is a lot like how insurance companies base customer rates.

Drivers could pick a mileage system of their choice or pay a flat annual fee.

“I’d do both. Probably for the business I’d do a flat rate, but personally I don’t drive a lot so personally I would go by the mileage I drive,” said Bruce Cole.

“It’s got to come from somewhere, so it seems as though direct fee to direct use would be the best thing,” said Ronnie Sage.

Many drivers agree more options are always better.

The pilot project will test various reporting methods with its own employees and possibly state legislators.

Officials plan to introduce a bill in 2013 that will authorize a mileage tax for vehicles that don’t pay a gas tax.

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