The Road Ahead with RTC: Exploring Mileage-Based User Fees

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 9:51 AM PST
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SPONSORED: In the future, there are many potential technologies available to operate a mileage-fee based system that could help pay for transportation projects. Barb Rohde with the Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance explains in this Q&A.

Question: Can you tell us about how that might work?

Answer:  A mileage-based user fee or vehicle miles traveled fee is a user charge based on miles driven in a specific vehicle, as opposed to the current excise tax on fuel consumed. At its simplest, the fee would be cents per mile. More sophisticated systems could assess different mileage fees based on factors like location, congestion, emissions, and type of vehicle.

Question: What would these potential fees help pay for?

Answer:  Transportation infrastructure, including highways, roads, bridges, and capital for transit systems in our country is primarily funded by an indirect user fee, including federal, state, and local fuel taxes. Given the continued increases in fuel efficiency and alternative-fuel or hybrid vehicles, the purchasing power from these taxes has declined. A new mileage-based fee could replace other fees and taxes.

Question: Is this something we could see here in Washoe County?

Answer:  Right now –  we’re not in a position to do that in Washoe County. But, it’s something that we could explore in the future with a lot of public input and discussion. As the community grows and people drive more and more, we’ll need to find a way to pay for roadway maintenance to continue to keep Washoe County roads in good condition. This is one viable method to consider for the future. For more information, I encourage you to visit