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Bill would fund fuel tax options
Monday, 10 August 2009 00:00

A federal House bill would provide $154.5 million to study fuel tax alternatives, including systems based on the number of vehicle miles traveled.

On July 27, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer introduced the Road User Fee Pilot Project bill, or HR 3311. House members referred the legislation, which has no co-sponsors, to the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation. Other than VMT, no other alternative funding methods are specified.

The bill would direct the treasury secretary to establish the program. The Democrat’s home state of Oregon has a VMT pilot program, which charged drivers for miles traveled rather than fuel consumed.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association considers the VMT method unproven. The American Trucking Associations, when testifying July 23 before the House Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, said the fuel tax is the most cost-effective way to fund highway infrastructure.

If approved, the Treasury secretary would report findings to Congress 18 months after passage and, three years later, report detailing final findings and conclusions.

Technologies and methods tested under the Road User Fee Pilot Project will be evaluated by issues that include protection of personal privacy, compliance ease, public acceptance and costs.

eTrucker.com, 8/10/2009