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Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Fees : Preliminary Report – Tasks 1 and 2.
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    Fuel taxes are the primary source of funding for state and federal transportation programs and have been for well over 80 years. However, the long term viability of this revenue source is in question. The development of more fuel efficient engine technologies and growth in vehicles that do not run on taxable fuels (such as gasoline and diesel) have reduced fuel consumption. While this is beneficial from an energy independence and air quality perspective, it means that less and less revenue is generated in fuel taxes to expand and maintain the nation’s infrastructure. Many states are looking at funding alternatives to the fuel tax. Among the most promising are fees directly related to use. Such “road use fees” have many different names but their defining characteristic is that they are a fee levied based on distance traveled. However, other facets of use such as vehicle weight or time-of-day could be factored into the fee rate. This paper summarizes recent research efforts undertaken at the state level to research and, in one case, implement road user charging systems as a replacement funding mechanism for the fuel tax. This paper also presents a brief overview of recently filed federal legislation related to road user charging and discusses a few collaborative multistate initiatives.
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