User Fees

Close-up of hand holding charging cable moving toward charging port on electric car.

Road Funding Options: The Alternative to the Alternative

The inverse relationship between electric vehicle sales and gasoline tax revenues has caused the federal government and many states to investigate mileage fees as an alternative funding option to fuel taxes. Iowa is going a different route.

July 24, 2023 - Clean Energy Districts of Iowa

Bay Bridge Toll

Funding Biden's Infrastructure Plan: Should Users or Corporations Pay?

After determining the size and scope of President Biden's infrastructure package, the next biggest challenge is determining how to pay for it. The partisan divide is steep, but Roll Call exposes division within the Democrats' ranks.

May 25, 2021 - Roll Call

Memphis Yellow Line

Multi-Car Owners May Pay Sustainability Fee to Fund Memphis Area Transit

Called a 'sustainability fee' by Mayor Lee Harris of Shelby County, the proposed fee would apply only to households that have three or more registered vehicles, about 17 percent of county residents. The first two vehicles would be exempt.

September 9, 2019 - Smart Cities Dive

Low Gas Prices

Seven State DOTs Awarded $10 Million to Study Gas Tax Alternatives

When transportation spending was last reauthorized, rather than hike the gas tax to maintain current spending, Congress diverted general fund revenue. A program to study alternative revenue options was created so states could launch pilot projects.

February 25, 2019 - Transport Topics

Gas Pump

Federal Gas Tax Legislation Would Also Tax Bikes, EVs, and Transit

Rep. Bill Shuster, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, wants to hike gas and diesel taxes by 15 and 20 cents per gallon, respectively, add two new user fees on bicycles and electric vehicles, and test VMT fees.

July 27, 2018 - U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Roosevelt Arch

11 States Launch Resistance to National Park Fee Changes

Eleven attorneys general have sent a letter, and a warning, to the Trump Administration: we'll battle new entrance fees in court if we have to.

November 23, 2017 - The Sacramento Bee

National Park System

Interior Department Wants to Hike National Park Entrance Fees

Two years after increasing entrance fees at national parks, The U.S. Department of the Interior wants to raise daily vehicle entrance fees at the nation's most popular parks to $70.

October 25, 2017 - CNN

Inland Empire

Is the Era of the 'Free' Freeway Coming to an End?

No one's suggesting that freeways will be converted to tollways, but a pattern is emerging that when freeways are widened, express lanes, financed in part by user fees, are being added rather than mixed-flow lanes. Case in point: the Inland Empire.

August 18, 2017 - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Cars

Another Month, Another Mileage Record Set

Americans preference to travel in their own personal vehicles shows no signs of abating, reflected by May mileage data, the most recent compiled by the Federal Highway Administration, indicating a 2.2 percent increase compared with May 2016.

August 7, 2017 - Planetizen

User Fees and Sales Tax Dollars Finance $1.9 Billion Four-Lane Freeway Widening

A 16-mile express lane and general purpose lane will be added in each direction of the San Diego Freeway in Orange County. A $629 million TIFIA loan will be repaid by toll-paying motorists, while all taxpayers pay most of the remainder.

August 5, 2017 - Daily Pilot (Los Angeles Times)

Commute

State Transportation Officials Ask Congress to Hike Transportation User Fees

It's not funding Trump's much-talked-about infrastructure package, but the 2020 termination date of the FAST Act has state transportation officials urging Congress to hike fuel taxes to sustain the Highway Trust Fund.

July 24, 2017 - AASHTO Journal

Gas Pump

The Vital Role of Gas Tax Indexing

Without an automatic adjustment for gas taxes, revenue from the tax declines due to increasing fuel efficiency standards while road maintenance and construction costs increase due to inflation. Witness Wisconsin's woes.

July 18, 2017 - WUWM (Milwaukee Public Radio)

West Virginia Becomes the Seventh State to Hike Gas Taxes, But Not by Much

Democratic Gov. Jim Justice signed legislation to increase its 32.2 cent state gas tax by about 3.5 cents per gallon and add substantial hybrid and EV fees. He also signed legislation to increase and expand road and bridge tolling.

July 2, 2017 - The Herald-Dispatch

Gas Tax Increases Have Their Limits

Even if newly revised transportation legislation supported by Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders to raise fuel taxes and fees should pass into law, the funding mechanism may not prove sustainable in the long term.

April 8, 2017 - KPCC

Arch Rock Beach

Oregon Residents Could Soon Pay a Fee to Hit the Water

The state of Oregon will consider legislation that would raise $2.17 million a year by implementing a fee on non-motorized users of public waterways.

January 29, 2017 - Mail Tribune

Bay Bridge Toll

Poll Appears to Show Opposition to Toll Financing for Trump Infrastructure Plan

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Jan. 17 showed the exact opposite result of a Reuters/Ipsos poll released two days later on the financing for President Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure plan. However, the polls took different approaches.

January 26, 2017 - The Washington Post

Dolores Park

Some Things Aren't for Sale in San Francisco's Dolores Park (Like Dolores Park)

Controversy struck the famously laissez-faire expanses of Dolores Park in San Francisco this week, after the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department launched, and then quickly rescinded, a program to rent park space.

May 27, 2016 - Sfist

Gas Station 7-Eleven

Let Smokers Pay for Roads

Missouri has come up with a unique way to pay for roads, and it's even a user fee, though it bears no direct relation to road users other than for those driving to the store to buy their cigarettes. So much for using the tax to address public health.

May 26, 2016 - Missourinet

Federal Funding Authorized for States to Test Gas Tax Alternatives

The five-year transportation reauthorization known as the FAST Act relies on $70 billion of one-time, non-user fees to fund the $302 billion bill. The act also allows the government to fund the development of sustainable funding options by states.

January 10, 2016 - The Hill

Death of the Federal Transportation User Fee

The passage of the five-year FAST Act, the first long-term transportation bill since 2005, solidifies the trend that has been in place since 2008, when General Fund transfers to the Highway Trust Fund first began. Such transfers are now the new norm.

December 7, 2015 - the transport politic

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