Now, as we know the State of Oregon and many other jurisdictions around North America have been giving Special Deals to the buyers of "Green" vehicles for years and years. Everything from special access lanes for designated hybrid cars to outright grants of money for purchasing a hybrid or electric car. Gee, now their gas tax revenue is down. Didn't see that coming, right?
Oregon is about to embark on a first-in-the-nation program that aims to charge car owners not for the fuel they use, but for the miles they drive.
The program is meant to help the state raise more revenue to pay for road and bridge projects at a time when money generated from gasoline taxes are declining across the country, in part, because of greater fuel efficiency and the increasing popularity of fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric cars.
Starting July 1, up to 5,000 volunteers in Oregon can sign up to drive with devices that collect data on how much they have driven and where. The volunteers will agree to pay 1.5 cents for each mile traveled on public roads within Oregon, instead of the tax now added when filling up at the pump.
Some electric and hybrid car owners, however, say the new tax would be unfair to them and would discourage purchasing of green vehicles. "This program targets hybrid and electric vehicles, so it's discriminatory," said Patrick Connor, a Beaverton resident who has been driving an electric car since 2007.
Thirty-two states faced budget gaps in fiscal 2015 or 2016 or both, according to an April 27 report by Standard & Poors. The fiscal year ends June 30 in all but four states.
Spending on education, roads repair and other services is threatened. Some Kansas schools are closing early, while Alaska Governor Bill Walker on Monday threatened furloughing as many as 15,000 workers if lawmakers don't act on a $3 billion gap. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has warned of impending cuts, including the closing of 15 of 22 state parks.