Oregon Rolls Out Tax-Per-Mile Program
The Oregon Transportation Department is preparing to enroll 5,000 volunteer drivers into a new test program starting in 2015. According to the law, passed by the Democratic state legislature earlier this year, residents will pay 1.5 cents per mile instead of paying 30 cents per gallon at the pump. The initial volunteers are piloting the law, which will expand shortly after a brief test run.
Americans for Tax Reform has already taken a stance in opposition to a similar tax-per-mile plan, which was a likely model for this law. The new tax also imposes a higher cost on those with fuel-efficient vehicles, who would pay less at the pump but more per mile.
Other individuals are concerned about the tax-per-mile law's effects on privacy. The devices used for recording the number of miles driven are likely to include the use of smartphones or GPS-tracking devices, which have potential to track the exact location of Oregonians as they travel throughout the state.
While the Oregon Department of Transportation looks towards an opportunity to increase their revenue in order to cover road and transportation maintenance, many fear the adverse effects that may lead to additional costs and privacy-infringement.