Salem, Ore. – The State of Oregon received millions of dollars in grants to extend road tax pilot programs where drivers pay by the mile rather than through gas taxes applied at the pump.
Representative Peter DeFazio made the announcement Thursday.
According to his office, the Oregon Department of Transportation will receive two separate Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives grants, totaling $4.9 million.
DeFazio helped create the program to make up for lost transportation revenues as average fuel efficiency of vehicles in Oregon increases over time, which he says results in a decline in fuel tax revenue.
Oregon’s Road Usage Charge Program allows volunteers to pay based on miles traveled. They still pay gas taxes at the pump, but a fuel tax credit of 1.5 cents per-mile is applied based on their road usage.
According to DeFazio, one of the new grants will fund a year-long pilot program in the Portland area to test different approaches to local road usage charges.
The second grant will create a road usage charge pilot program between California and Oregon in order to allow the two states to work together.
The pilots, like the OReGO state program, will continue to be voluntary.
For more information about OReGO, you can visit the following website: http://www.myorego.org/frequently-asked-questions/