RTA, the North Carolina Chamber, and other chambers of commerce across the region and state are working with other partners to advance an “access user fee” framework for modernizing transportation funding.

An access user fee — which applies a consistent fee to all registered vehicles, regardless of annual usage — is a simple, fair, and resilient method of replacing the state gas tax, supporting economic development in both metro and rural areas, and stabilizing funding to keep projects moving.

The regional and statewide business community applauds the NC General Assembly for its strong progress on this issue, including the activation of partial access fees for electric and hybrid vehicles over the past decade. We encourage full implementation of access user fees for all non-diesel vehicles.

Access User Fee implementation:

    1. Raise the existing, annual partial access user fee for electric vehicles ($214.50/year as of 7/1/24) and plug-in hybrid vehicles ($107.25/year) to what the owner of a typical gasoline-powered vehicle pays in gas taxes over the course of a year (currently around $252/year or about $21/month);
    2. Charge all passenger vehicles the same access user fee rate – whether gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, or hydrogen fuel cell;
    3. Allow vehicle owners to pay the access user fee on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis; and
    4. Eliminate all state gas taxes.

Note that the access user fee would not initially apply to diesel vehicles, so current truck taxation methods would remain.

Access User Fee support from business organizations:

Access User Fee highlights:

  • Everyone would pay the same rate, regardless of the type of vehicle you drive, where you live, or month-to-month variation in travel. An access fee would be analogous to a typical monthly mobile phone bill, which does not vary regardless of minutes used.
  • Drivers who travel further for work and other activities would pay less in access fees than they do today in gas taxes.
  • Transportation fees would be more predictable and stable, for both motorists and NCDOT, even if travel and fuel usage were to drop in a recession or pandemic.
  • The state won’t have to create a new revenue collection bureaucracy, and North Carolinians won’t have to track vehicle miles traveled.

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Thank you to our Omnia Gold, Sustaining Gold, and Gold members

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