The Oregon State Legislature has passed legislation to establish a road usage charge system for transportation funding, which is expected to be signed by Oregon’s Gov. John Kitzhaber in “coming days.”
SB810 will authorize the Oregon Department of Transportation to assess a charge of 1.5 cents per mile for up to 5,000 cars and light commercial vehicles and issue an equivalent gas tax refund to users. The bill, which represents the first-ever legislation passed in the U.S. to establish a mileage-based user fee setup, calls for the system to be operational by July 1, 2015.
The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association has applauded the legislation. The toll facility owner, operator and business group’s executive director and CEO, Patrick D. Jones, called the bill’s passage a “major victory” for alternative forms of transportation funding.
“This example gives momentum to the need for exploring alternative funding options, such that tolling provides, in addressing our national transportation infrastructure challenges,” Jones said in a written statement.