What would road-usage charge mean for different drivers?

The Herald’s editorial on road usage fee was interesting (“Start on road to replace gas tax with per-mile fee,” The Herald, Feb. 25).

It would be interesting to know if the lower gas sales in 2022 since 2020 was because of the start of covid and everyone stayed home. I would think the 2020 and even 2021 tax revenue numbers would be significantly lower than 2023. Kind of a byproduct when the state tells you to stay home.

Maybe I missed something. Is this for electric vehicles only? I assume they need to know where you are as they should not be charging road tax on trips out of state except that does happen with the present gas tax some.

If shifting all cars to this “modest” tax some points:

Presently the 49.4 cent tax on each gallon represents, for a somewhat of a low efficient car at 25 miles per gallon about 20 cents per mile.

If motorists continue to drive an average of 10,000 mile per year. That would be $250 vs. $197.6 tax per year or an increase in the road taxes for lower efficient cars. For those with economy cars that get 35 miles a gallon, they are only paying the state $141.15 per year or an increase in the road taxes of 77 percent for more efficient cars.

Saving the $225 registration fee, EVs should still be driving at least 5,000 miles. That would be a cost of $125. If they somehow reach the 10,000 miles then they would save $25.

I looked for the 2022 gas sales and could not find it on the web. It would be interesting to see after the state let people drive again what the sales were.

Terry L Sparks

Oak Harbor

Editor’s note: The drop in gasoline sales began long before the covid pandemic. Figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show a significant drop in daily gasoline sales in the state as of 2010 (334,000 gallons) and continuing until 2020 (340,000 gallons), down from a high of 1.56 million gallons a day in 2002. Figures for 2021 and 2022 were not available from the agency.

As proposed, House Bill 1832 calls for a voluntary per-mile program for electric and other zero-emission vehicles.

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