Mileage-Based User Fees Could Work, Says Study

The Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota has prepared a comprehensive report on the shortcomings of the fuel tax and how to transition to what they call a mileage-based user fee, a form of a vehicle-miles-traveled fee.
August 29, 2011, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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From the report's conclusion: "First and foremost, fuel taxes are not sustainable for funding surface transportation, but the mileage-based user fee (MBUF) would be."

Unlike the conclusions from prior federal commissions and reports, the CTS recommends a transitional revenue mechanism that will lead to the final replacement of the fuel tax. This transitional option includes a federal and state fuel tax component that "would be reset to a lowerbase rate that would be sufficient to generate revenues for baseline transportation needs."
• Mileage-Based Charge Component-Federal and State Level "to fund road and bridge reconstruction and expansion"
• Mileage-Based Charge Component-Local Option for local roads.

The first step, however, is for "policymakers to understand the shortcomings of fuel taxes and how unsustainable they are in the long run." The report highlights the challenges to adopting the MBUF as well.

Thanks to John Hartz

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Published on Monday, August 1, 2011 in University of Minnesota: ITS Institute
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