Vehicle Registration-based “Access User Fee”

RTA supports the implementation of an “access user fee” as a simple, fair, and resilient method of replacing the state gas tax to modernize and stabilize transportation funding.

The concept is this:

  • 1. Raise the annual EV fee (currently $140.25/year) to what the owner of the typical gasoline-powered vehicle pays in gas taxes over the course of a year (currently around $237/year)
  • 2. Charge all passenger vehicles the same rate – whether electric, gasoline, or hybrid;
  • 3. Allow vehicle owners to pay the access fee on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis; and
  • 4. Eliminate all state gas taxes.

The fee would not initially apply to diesel vehicles, so current truck taxation methods would remain.

With an access fee, 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.

Plus, the state won’t have to create a new revenue collection bureaucracy, and North Carolinians won’t have to track vehicle miles traveled.

An access user fee is just one idea to modernize our state’s transportation funding model, and RTA will support any modernized funding approach that is effective, resilient, and politically acceptable.

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