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Sometimes you wonder…

July 3, 2015

About the mathematical prowess of government officials.

Given that Oregon’s new mileage fee program is supposed to capture more revenue for the state, a few questions pop up.

For instance , what about nonresident vehicles that pass through the state for business or vacations and may not buy any gas, or that belong to college students, thus being registered in another state? Is the next step to make them buy something like a trip permit?

Does it make financial sense?  Idaho, Oregon’s neighbor to the east, raised the gas tax seven cents a gallon and added $21 dollars to the annual registration fee, applicable to any type of vehicle.  That captures the revenue without having to pay any outside vendors 40% of the fees collected, includes electric and hybrid vehicles and addresses the non-resident vehicle component.

Assuming that the average person drives 20,000 miles a year and the average miles per gallon figure is 25, that’s about 800 gallons a year. At the current tax rate of 30 cents per gallon that’s about $240  in state gas tax revenue.  At the advertised rate of one and one-half cents per mile, that same 20,000 miles would net $300 a year, but 40% of that money goes to the vendors, leaving just $180 dollars a year to go to the state. Are there enough green vehicles registered to make up the difference?

Is this some of the new math reasoning taught in Common Core?  Just asking…

From → op-ed

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