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Oregon to test pay-per-mile idea as replacement for gas tax

Thursday, July 23, 2015

– AP, By Gosia Wozniacka

…The program [“OreGO”] is meant to help the state raise more revenue to pay for road and bridge projects at a time when money generated from gasoline taxes is declining across the country, in part because of greater fuel efficiency and the 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…

The OreGo program is projected to cost $8.4 million to implement…

We Respond & Your Comments

We’re not taking sides on OreGo. But we do want you to anticipate this program’s unintended consequences…

  • A big reason people buy green cars is that they save on gas taxes. OreGo will decrease or eliminate these savings;
  • Green cars are mostly affordable because of government subsidies (that means the govt. takes your money to give to people who buy green cars). So will government goose lower sales of green cars by increasing subsidies with more of your money?
  • Or will government let the price of green cars rise as demand falls, thus decreasing green car sales and increasing sales of gas cars that release more carbon?
  • The more that sales of green cars decrease, the less the value of OreGo. So in the end will Salem junk it and just raise the gas tax for everyone?

Please join us in thinking through these “sounds-good-costs-millions” programs and anticipating what the real results might be.

 

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