Road usage charge economic analysis.
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Road usage charge economic analysis.

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  • Abstract:
    The overall objective of this research is to provide ODOT with up to date information on the economic

    impact of various Road User Charge (RUC) alternatives on the stakeholders in the state of Oregon. Of particular

    concern to policymakers were the perceived differences the implementation of a RUC might have on different

    regions of the state.

    Oregon SB 810 creates a program that allows drivers to pay a mileage based RUC of 1.5 cents per mile rather

    than the current 30-cent per gallon state fuel tax. Major concerns over the adoption of this RUC are that it could

    increase costs for rural households relative to urban households and that the costs would fall disproportionately

    on lower income groups. Further, there could be significant differences due to locational distinctions other than

    simply the urban/rural split. Previous work in the area was limited by the small Oregon sample of households

    included in the NHTS data set at either the statewide level or using a broad urban/rural distinction. The newly

    available OHAS data set provides detailed information that permits impacts to be assessed using

    regional/geographic definition that are more relevant for policymakers in Oregon. Alternatives to the flat RUC

    of 1.5 cents per mile applied to all vehicles included were:

    1. A fee of 1.5 cents per mile applied to only vehicles with >30, >40 and >50 MPG (four different

    scenarios) while retaining the fuel tax for all others and,

    2. A fee of 1.5 cents per mile applied only to new vehicles in the OHAS data set (defined to be 2009, 2010,

    2011 or 2012 model year vehicles) while retaining the fuel tax for all others.

    Results using the OHAS data show that on average, statewide households will pay 5 cents more daily under a

    RUC than the current fuel tax (since the 1.5 cent per mile RUC actually would produce more gross revenue than

    the current fuel tax). However, the increase for rural regions is less than the statewide average while regions with

    more urban areas will pay slightly more than the statewide average. Further, we find that the distributional impact

    of imposing this at 1.5 cent RUC on all households in the OHAS data set differs depending on the region of the

    state examined. Appendix C reproduces the results using a revenue neutral per-mile fee.

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