Massachusetts Highway Tax Bill still Surviving

Tom Warne Report, 17 December 2013

Land Line Magazine – December 11, 2013

Massachusetts – Massachusetts may soon be the next state among several experimenting with a per-mile road tax. A bill in discussions by the Joint Committee on Transportation would require the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to design and implement a pilot program to charge drivers a fee for miles traveled.

The program would involve at least 1,000 volunteers including both passenger and commercial vehicles to use onboard vehicle mileage counters to “test the reliability, ease of use, cost and public acceptance of technology and methods” for monitoring miles driven.

According to Rep. Carl Sciortino, D-Medford, “the commonwealth is uniquely positioned to become a leader in advancement of the technology and methods needed to develop and implement alternative ways to raise transportation revenue.”

Oregon’s mileage tax program will kick off in 2015 with up to 5,000 volunteers paying per mile using GPS technology or at the pump using a wireless transponder. Nevada officials are currently studying a vehicle mileage tax among other alternative road-funding sources. Gov. Brian Sandoval said he wants the study concluded in time for the 2015 regular session.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., filed a bill that would grant federal funding to states to conduct pilot programs on vehicle mileage taxes.

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