Georgia lawmakers urged to switch gasoline tax with per-mile payment

Georgia lawmakers have been offered a plan to offset income loss amid a transition to fuel-efficient and electrical automobiles by enacting per-mile charges on drivers.

The state makes use of transportation charges and gasoline taxes to assist highway upkeep and development. New expertise and President Joe Biden’s plan for 50% of recent automobile gross sales to be electrical automobiles by 2030 might cut back tax collections. Electrical and fuel-efficient automobiles require little or no gasoline to function.

Transportation professional Robert Poole informed a legislative panel Monday the state ought to exchange its gasoline tax with per-mile freeway charges to safe income as transportation evolves.

“We’ll want to switch the gasoline tax as the first supply of freeway funding,” mentioned Poole, the director of transportation coverage at Cause Basis and a senior fellow on the Georgia Public Coverage Basis.

Georgia’s gasoline excise tax for 2021 is 28.7 cents per gallon. Georgians are also topic to various native authorities motor gasoline gross sales. In line with Poole’s analysis, Georgia’s gasoline gross sales peaked in 2017 however have been on a gradual decline since, dropping by 6.57% in 2020. Journey on the state’s roads fell in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic led to enterprise shutdowns and a short lived conversion to distant work.

Different states akin to Oregon, Utah and Virginia have initiated pilot mileage-based consumer charges applications. Poole informed the Joint Fee on E-Commerce and Freight Infrastructure Funding that Georgia additionally ought to take a look at this system and conduct a research to judge initiatives’ time and value estimates. Present mileage-based consumer charges fashions require annual odometer readings, GPS trackers and different monitoring gadgets, or a pay as you go possibility.

Sen. Frank Ginn, R-Danielsville, mentioned a mileage-based program would complicate issues for Georgians who already are annoyed with the record-keeping necessities for paying revenue taxes.

“Once I take a look at what you are proposing right here, I am excited about what a royal ache,” Ginn mentioned. “So for me, I do not suppose it will get a lot less complicated than proper now. We gather from distributors a gasoline tax. You are paying on the pump. You are gonna need to give you one thing to maintain it easy.”

Ginn mentioned he additionally was involved about the price of this system and Georgians’ privateness.

The legislative panel was created to look at which funding and coverage options might generate extra income for Georgia’s freight, logistics and e-commerce industries.

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