Oregon Rolls Out First Pay-Per-Mile Tax

Oregon Democrat Representative Earl Blumenauer is one of 5,000 volunteers to try out the state’s new pay-per-mile tax program. Oregon is also the first state in the nation to roll out such a program.

Even though the media and politicians have been pushing electric cars for years as a cheaper and more efficient alternative, and a way for Americans to be weaned off “dirty” fossil fuels, what they didn’t tell anyone was that as these “greener” vehicles became more prevalent, tax revenues collected from gas sales would dry up. Since the government needs that gas tax revenue to fund pet projects, they’ve had to develop new taxes that would generate the same revenue from those who wanted the cheaper and more efficient vehicles.

Now, instead of penalizing drivers for buying gasoline as a way to entice them to buy electric cars, they’re penalizing all drivers simply for driving, regardless of how politically correct their vehicle choices are.

Representative Blumenauer is proud to be one of 5,000 volunteers enrolling in this test program, called OReGO, which he says will prompt other states to follow. CNS News reported:

The program launched on July 1. It is voluntary at the moment, but Blumenauer expects that to change:

“I’m excited to be one of the first 5,000 volunteers in the OReGO program, because I’m convinced that as a state and as a nation we should not pay for transportation based on how much fuel we consume,” he said in a videotaped message for OReGO:

He noted that gas taxes are no longer an effective highway user-fee due to inflation and increasing fuel efficiency.

“Oregon brought America the first gas tax dedicated to road construction in 1919,” Blumenauer said. “Within a decade, every state in the union had followed suit, and the first federal gas tax was levied shortly thereafter. Now oregon is once again ahead of the curve. OReGO is the largest program in the country exploring a road usage charge as an alternative to the gas tax, and other states are already following suit.

“I’ve introduced legislation in Congress that would fund projects like OReGO all across the country.”

Blumenauer said the program will “improve the way we drive and the way we plan our communities as well as our trips.”

He said it will help his state pay for a 21st century transportation system and “will lead the way for the nation to follow suit.

The road-usage charge is currently set at 1.5 cents per mile. Participants with the GPS-enabled option are not charged for out-of-state road usage.

So, this doesn’t have to do with road and bridge maintenance as much as paying for a “21st century transportation system.” Or whatever other pet project the state politicians have for which they want additional revenue in the form of taxes.