Oklahoma has recently introduced a pilot program to investigate alternative methods of paying fuel taxes. Currently, drivers in the state are automatically taxed 20 cents per gallon of fuel purchased. However, this new program aims to assess whether it would be more effective to tax drivers based on the number of miles they travel, rather than the amount of fuel they consume.
The goal of the pilot program is to ensure that all individuals who drive on Oklahoma roads contribute their fair share towards road maintenance and infrastructure improvements. This potential shift from the gas tax to a per-mile tax would apply to all drivers, including those with electric vehicles.
The decline in gas taxes across the nation, as a result of increased fuel efficiency and the adoption of alternative fuels, is a driving factor behind this change. Gas tax funds are crucial for road and bridge maintenance, and as the revenue from gas taxes decreases, the ability to maintain the state’s infrastructure is compromised.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) has launched a study, with $1.9 million funded by the state and the remaining costs covered by a federal grant. One of the challenges that the program faces is tracking the miles driven by individuals within and outside of the state. Additionally, it remains uncertain whether this new method of taxation would have a greater or lesser impact on drivers compared to the current system.
For this pilot program, drivers report their mileage electronically. ODOT is currently calculating the potential costs for each driver through this program. Once the study is completed, the collected data will be presented to the legislature for further evaluation.
Overall, the aim of the pilot program is to create a fair system that ensures all drivers contribute to the maintenance of Oklahoma’s roads and bridges. By evaluating the possibility of a per-mile tax, the state hopes to address the declining gas tax revenue and adapt to the increasing use of electric vehicles and alternative fuels.
– Oklahoma Department of Transportation
– KOCO 5 News