By the gallon or by the mile? States consider a gas tax alternat - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

By the gallon or by the mile? States consider a gas tax alternative

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Drivers fill up their gas tanks Friday before hitting the road for the holiday weekend, but there is currently debate over how to tax drivers for gasoline.

Transportation departments across the country are experiencing funding gaps, and therefore, try to generate more revenue. Instead of taxing drivers by the gallon, some states are considering taxing by the mile.

Eighteen states, including Iowa, have tested the mileage tax. The University of Iowa Public Policy Center conducted the National Evaluation of a Mileage-Based Road User Charge study a few years ago. GPS computers were placed inside drivers' cars and tracked how many miles were driven. The study included areas across the country, and found roughly 70 percent of people were in favor of the concept.

Other states have reported testing the method as well, like North Carolina and Oregon. North Carolina's Dept. of Transportation is considering tracking drivers' miles with odometer readings each year. Oregon plans to launch a program next year in which drivers will volunteer to test mileage meters.

To increase transportation funding, some states have voted to raise their respective gas taxes. A bill to raise Iowa's gas tax, however, didn't pass in the state's last legislative session.

Earlier this year, the Iowa Dept. of Transportation reported a roughly $200 million dollar deficit, and like in many other states, must find ways in which to narrow the funding gap.
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