California continues to evaluate the equitability and sustainability of a vehicle-miles-traveled tax as an alternative to the fuel tax. Caltrans’ California Road Charge Pilot was authorized in 2014 after Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB1077 into law.
Caltrans claims that better fuel economy and increasing use of hybrid and electric vehicles have led to a decreasing value of the fuel tax, according to a news release. Caltrans considers a VMT tax “more economically viable.”
Currently, the fuel tax funds approximately $2.3 billion of work. About $5.7 billion of funding is left unaccounted for. Lawmakers will use information gleaned from the Road Charge pilot program to determine whether or not a VMT tax will generate more revenue. The plan is for the pilot to run nine months. Caltrans announced last week it needs California residents in rural areas to volunteer.
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