Oregon was the first state to study replacing state gas taxes with a Vehicle Miles Traveled fee in 2007. Now Gov. Kulongoski is taking the next step - introducing legislation to replace the 24-cent gas tax with a VMT fee that applies GPS technology.
"As part of a transportation-related bill (Gov. Kulongoski) has filed for the 2009 legislative session, he plans to recommend 'a path to transition away from the gas tax as the central funding source for transportation."
"As Oregonians drive less and demand more fuel-efficient vehicles, it is increasingly important that the state find a new way, other than the gas tax, to finance our transportation system", according to the governor's website.
In the landmark study, "a Global Positioning System device kept track of the in-state mileage driven by the volunteers. When they bought fuel, a device in their vehicles was read, and they paid 1.2 cents a mile and got a refund of the state gas tax of 24 cents a gallon"
"Critics worried that the technology could be used to track where vehicles go, not just how far they travel, and that this information would somehow be stored by the government."
The final report was sensitive to the topic:
"The concept requires no transmission of vehicle travel locations, either in real time or of travel history," the report said. "Accordingly, no travel location points are stored within the vehicle or transmitted elsewhere. Thus there can be no ‘tracking' of vehicle movements."
"Eventually, GPS devices would have to start being built into cars, and fueling stations would have to be similarly equipped."
Thanks to Leonard Conly
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