EDIT: The additional Per Mile tax discussed in this article is different from the current IFTA agreement where drivers already have to track their movements and submit a quarterly report. In some cases, the new per mile tax may end up being in addition to all of the taxes that truckers are already paying.
The Oregon State Legislature has just passed a bill that allows per-mile taxation on vehicles using any road in the state. While the bill currently says the per-mile taxation is optional and it has not been approved for use with heavy commercial vehicles, this is certainly a step in a frightening direction. Get ready for a huge bump in taxes and a truly frightening infringement of privacy.
The idea of a per-mile tax is something that has been getting tossed around a lot lately as state DOTs are looking for ways to fill massive holes in their operating budgets caused by maintaining a rapidly aging road system. In some states, it is being considered in addition to or as a replacement to fuel tax since today’s vehicles are using less fuel, but causing the same amount of wear and tear on the roads. For truckers who drive rigs that commonly get less than 10mpg, it seems that a per-mile tax would cost less than a fuel tax in the long run. But it doesn’t.
Let’s take Oregon as an example. The state fuel tax in Oregon is currently $0.30 per gallon. If a truck gets 10mpg, that means the driver ends up paying $0.03 per mile. The per-mile tax that Oregon is proposing would charge drivers $0.015 per mile – half of what drivers are paying with the current fuel tax setup. This makes it seem like a great deal for truckers, but there are several factors that are not being taken into consideration here.
First, truckers may not have to pay fuel tax in Oregon, but most truckers don’t stay confined to only one state. Odds are, that trucker has already fueled up in a neighboring state, say California, and has already paid the $0.72 per gallon fuel tax there before driving into Oregon where they’re now being taxed again for every mile they drive. That comes out to costing $0.87 per gallon in taxes alone!
This doesn’t even take in to consideration the idea that trucks and other heavy vehicles might be taxed at a higher rate per mile due to their increased impact on the wear and tear of the state’s roads. According to a report released back in January by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, truckers would be expected to pay anywhere from $.03 to $.08 cents per mile, a far cry from the $.015 that light vehicles will be paying on Oregon.
The other major issues with per-mile taxation are the equipment that it requires and the privacy concerns brought on by that equipment. Every truck would need to have an always-on GPS system tied to the truck’s engine. From the time the engine goes on at the beginning of your day to the time it shuts off at the end it would be transmitting your exact position – along with the exact position of every other motoring citizen in the country – to a single government agency.
The new bill in Oregon may not seem like it has an effect on truckers (after all, it doesn’t even apply to heavy commercial vehicles!) but don’t be fooled. This bill is the first step in legislature that will see the amount truckers pay in taxes skyrocket to what the Government Accountability Office estimates at an average of $5,792 per year.
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It seems like unless we get a solid truckers union up and running we are going to be taxed and regulated right out of business (at less the small trucking firms and independent Owner Ops). This tax scheme is one more indicator that the economy is still in the tank and States like Oregon are getting desperate to find alternate sources for income. Mental Stress can create as much fatigue as physical labor on the independant driver.
A ban on, or increased fees on business in Oregon would or could change voters minds in that state if the industry could stop cutting each other’s throats long enough to make this cooperation work. What’s to stop other states from using the fuel tax AND the mileage tax?
John Burleson says
Right on, Sam! It’s time for drivers to get organized and take this communist policy and those who propose it to the wood shed. Oregon wants to reach into my pocket for an extra bite of what I earned? Maybe I don’t take that next load of toilet paper to Portland…. I recall drivers organizing only once before. Everybody shut down and the government backed off. Let’s do it again. Only this time, lets keep their feet in the fire until we get America back.
I have been thinking and saying this for months.
I believe its time to take at least a week off to show government / politicians what happens when they mess with us. we will shut the entire country down.
I can’t Help but AGREE STRONGLY
I thought that was what IFTA was all about. I know right now in addition to the tax paid at the pump I pay a highway use tax for every state I drive through. Of course Oregon had to “roll their own” and you have to already by their permit. The ONLY reason they participate in IFTA is so OR plated trucks can run in other states.
IFTA calculations are already made based on where you purchase fuel and where you actually run with that fuel.
If OR does up the price that will be one less state I’ll go to and drive through. Fuel at the pump eats 51-52% of an owner ops gross revenues.
As far as trucks at 10mpg, I haven’t seen that in the new trucks. The pre-emissions trucks got much better fuel mileage.
Someone explained to me how we , citizens are expecting privacy on the public roadways?
This author have also no clue on ifta nor truck taxation, since companies already have to report miles driven in oregon as part of their ifta reporting.
The per mile taxation scheme is a perfect taxation system for roadways.
The more you drive in oregon, the more you pay?
Trucks have and will continue to create huge wear and tear on roadways, thus have to pay their fair share of the bill. 80,000 is 20times more weight thus we should expect to pay at least 10 times the tax of a lightweight vehicle.
We already pay a much larger % than you suggest. Where are your numbers coming from? We have road and fuel tax we have tolls that are outrageously higher than cars. Seriously? A bridge that costs a car $2 to cross, will cost is $15, $30, or even $50 to cross…. and we arent already paying our fair share?
“Trucks have and will continue to create huge wear and tear on roadways, thus have to pay their fair share of the bill. 80,000 is 20times more weight thus we should expect to pay at least 10 times the tax of a lightweight vehicle.”
This is the kind of nonsense that passes for logic in American politics. Products and raw materiels must be transported for our economy to function. Without trucks we would have no economy. If you buy a roll of toilet paper at Walmart, you have benefitted from an 80,000 lb. truck getting it there. If people quit purchasing food, gas and manufactured goods, the trucks would stop rolling. If you’re not willing to give up food and everything thing else you’ve ever purchased, with few exceptions, you are responsible for the wear and tear on roadways. You can pay now or later when truck taxes get added into the price at the cash register.
I’m not a trucker but have family members who are. I respect and support the trucking industry. #1: I agree with Sam. The industry should unionize. #2: Perhaps truckers should boycott Oregon for a week. The greedy politicians will change their tunes quickly when the grocery stores shelves become empty and the People begin calling their Oregon representatives.
Who wrote this article, a company driver? It’s certainly not someone that has done quarterly IFTA reports or bought an OR trip permit. OR simply wants to do what they do now to trucks to cars. Now if you go the privacy angle in private automobiles,ok. However, trucks have been paying this way in OR for a long time. To the poster above, some states ALREADY charge mileage and fuel tax. New York, Kentucky and New Mexico have been doing this for a long time.
I agree Fortycalglock. The author is confused. If I cross from CA into OR with CA fuel I am credited back the CA fuel tax for the miles spent in Oregon. I pay per mile in Oregon with a rate of .1638 and I don’t pay Oregon fuel tax.
I’m surprised that Trucker’s Report would post such a misleading and confusing article.
If you’re going to cover a topic, cover it entirely. Oregon has had a per mile tax on commercial vehicles for years. Most trucks have/had a PUC permit. No tax on fuel at the pump, however it cost about .13 cpm to drive in the state.
As vehicles have become more efficient income has dropped. Electric cars aren’t paying at all. The first solution should be to take the 30-40 percent of the money collected for roads and stop spending it elsewhere.
your article is incorrect on how the tax would work and how it is used [and I’m not in favor of having a GPS tied to my vehicle] http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/OIPP/Pages/ruftf_faq.aspx
the link above, is the exact ruling but here are some of the highlights regarding the per mile tax.
You are correct that a GPS would be installed in every vehicle and would become standard in new vehicles as other states consider this option.
The Oregon proposed ruling would only tax you based on miles driven within Oregon however, it is NOT A FLAT TAX as it would be a variable tax depending on which roads are traveled, what time of the day you are traveling in other words, the per mile tax for 5 a.m. would be lower than driving on the same road during rush hour.
The per mile tax would increase if traveling over “congested” areas
And it would be easier to add a hidden toll bridges.
the way that it is designed to work is that the GPS system would communicate with the pumps dur fill up and therefore determine the amount of tax owed unlike the current system, where you have some control over how much are spending.
The per mile tax is a horribly bad idea and is directly the result of government encouraging everybody to get vehicles that get more to the gallon crying that they’re now losing revenue.
one final note… if other states also enact “per mile road taxes” while you might be paying an average of .05 per mile in Oregon, as soon as you cross the border into another state that figure could drastically change.
Samuel Barradas says
Robin, the source you are citing is a little outdated. According to the Section 3, Article 2 of the new bill that was just passed, “The per-mile road usage charge is 1.5 cents per mile.”
Samuel thanks for that, I believe that’s for the pilot program limited to 5000 vehicles as the governor is trying to “sneak” metered driving into Oregon culture. In either case, it’s bad enough having a QUALCOMM in the trucks much less a GPS in your personal vehicle.
But I guess one question that I would like to ask… if it became law requiring a GPS in every vehicle where it would be illegal to tamper or remove them such as it is now with anti-pollution devices, how do you think the sheeple would respond?
But then again, as newer cars are equipped with OnStar and other onboard communication devices you don’t know what’s really going on behind the scenes anyways.
Tony Sanders says
To further your request for a solid truckers union… It was only a few months ago when I remember a certain city had problems with truck drivers staying over night. If my mind recalls correctly, the truckers stopped delivering freight to them and with in a week or two their own city govt had to step out and reverse their decision because they saw the impact truckers had. I truly believe a solid union could really do this job some good.
1.) Hours of Service
2.) Mileage/ percent of load pay structuring
4.) Fuel Tax
These are some areas I believe need to be looked at. It is time for the drivers to unite with one another and begin to demand equality and justice in the work place. What other job field permits working for free? I have no problems explaining if need be…
Oregon already has a weight mile tax on commercial vehicles over 26,000 pounds . There is no per gallon tax. Currently 0.1638 per mile for 80,000 pounds. I think the story is that they are extending the weight mile tax to include all vehicles.
A full scale drivers organized labor force has been talked about for a very long time. It will never happen and the reasons are very simple. The labor force of trucking in itself is constantly in a flux of new drivers coming into the field and others leaving. With most OTR companies seeing 100% or more turnover rates. The ideal of a organized labor force becomes a pipe dream. Not to mention the fact many drivers are owner operators who may find a distrust organizing with company drivers. Some issues are similar and some are not. We don’t need to reach for the stars by organizing into a unattainable thing such as a Union. What we need is for the industry as a whole to demonstrate in a professional manor that their are serious problems with the trucking industry. From the way we are paid, our unpaid hours, our poor working conditions, a lack of respect by the customers we serve and the overly intrusive regulations that treat us like we are the biggest threat to our highways. When all facts point to other things. If we all joined a union today that would not guarantee that we would see any improvements in our core problems. As we have seen in other union labor unions. Their power to make much progress is very limiting.
Stay out of Oregon and see how long it lasts. People will be wanting their stuff and more than just the truckers will start raising hell.
Jackie- this article is misleading and false. I pay .1638 cpm in Oregon ALREADY. I do NOT pay fuel tax in Oregon. If I am carrying California fuel in other states (such as Oregon) I am NOT paying fuel tax twice because I am credited back those miles to what I owe California. I am based in Nevada, if I fuel in Nevada more that I actually run miles in Nevada I get credit because I overpaid my fuel tax at the pump. All this gets calculated each quarter, some states I owe, some states owe me, but it all goes together in a thing called the International Fuel Tax Agreement. Also known as ‘IFTA’.
Truckers are already paying a Milage Tax in OR . It’s based on licensed weight and number of axles. Currently the 5 axle/80,000 # rate is close to $0.17/mile. This is a non story as far as trucks are concerned. What’s all this Union talk? Drivers don’t pay for operating costs and won’t be responsible for a milage tax.
I agree. Stop driving to, or through, Oregon. The roads are terrible in the winter too. Simply stop going there. Then let them start begging us to come back. For now, they can fly their stuff in. See how expensive that gets!
1) 4 states already charge per mile: new york, new mexico, Kentucky(or Kansas, temp lapse of memory), and Oregon.
2) those states get mileages based on IFTA miles reported
3) the author evidently doesn’t know how ifta operates because of the asumption of buying fuel in california and paying fuel tax there and paying milage tax on oregon; it doesn’t matter where one buys they fuel, if u don’t burn it all in the jurisdiction you bought it, you get a credit on your IFTA filing, if you don’t buy fuel in a jurisdiction you travel you have a charge made to your IFTA filing based on miles driven and average fuel economy for the quarter.
4). I still agree with the authors premise standing against mileage taxes. These agencies take way to much money and spend friviously on bike trails, hov lanes, and municiple buildings that don’t benefit the motoring public. Besides, if they all changed to a straight milage tax, you loose some of the incentive for getting good fuel milage… like keeping a few extra dollars away from these greedy politicians and their minions.
I’m grateful for the editing done since I posted or maybe was done while I posted after I read, I’m glade they included they additional information reguarding that this would be in addition to IFTA imposed reporting, filing, and payment of taxes. But since they’re trying to go above and beyond IFTA wouldn’t this be wrought with endless litigations since IFTA is international law (covering U.S., Canada, and Mexico) and it could be scene as a state trying to establish a tariff? Since it would require the purchase of a devise that’s only application would be in Oregon. I think and hope, at least for the time being, that this wouldn’t be able to be applied to interstate trucking for the reasons I mentioned, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Oregon decides to raise it’s rate concerning IFTA
David Norton says
Well more political BS All drivers should boycott Oregon . like we did Indiana in the 80’s and if the feds keep it up maybe its time to Shutter down . STRIKE !
I say forget about unions. Too many are willing to do whatever just to have a paycheck. This wont happen either but you’d probably see better results with getting the legislature involved in applying labor laws so drivers are no longer working for free.
Steve Volkle says
John I agree I spent 10hrs the other day backed into two different loading docks just waiting to get loaded and unloaded. Am I going to get PAID for this NO. You tell most people that they will spent that amount of time just getting ready to drive or being able to finish their day with out pay and most people whould tell you to shove the job where the sun don’t shine!! The amount of B.S. you have to put up in between driving is well I’ll be polite and won’t say how I feel. It’s time things changed for the better or it’s time to make the country wake up. But like you said earlier it will never happen
Chris Hoppman says
I’m pretty certain that the tax for a five axle truck is currently $.1625 per mile.
If you have the Oregon permit you don’t have to pay the fuel tax if you buy fuel. If for some reason you get charged fuel tax there are no refunds when the IFTA report is filed.
I should add that Otegon had been charging a milage tax for at least as long as I’ve owned trucks, which is two decades. As I said earlier. This is a NON STORY where trucks are concerned.
Unless things have changed and I doubt they have, all that are screaming for unions, will pay their fair share to belong to them. We can do the same damn thing without them if we just stay out of Oregon. No it won’t be easy. Yes it might cost some revenue. How much money do you think you will loose if the Union decides we aren’t getting what they think we need and tell us we need to strike until THEY reach an agreement as to what is good for us? It could be a week could be much longer. Meanwhile it will hit your pocket book every where else by forcing the price of goods that you have to buy up due to supply and demand. We as truckers need to ban together but keep the organized crime “UNIONS” out of my pocket book!
We already have a fuel surcharge so perhaps there should be an Oregon surcharge added to the cost of loads going to and through that state to make up the difference. In my opinion there should already be one for loads into and out of California as it is.
Unions will never work. A strike will never work. Why? Take a look in the mirror. Truck Drivers have been and always will be their own worst enemy. Truckers will sit and bitch and wait for somebody else to take the first step. Truckers are going to wait for somebody else to make the stand. Let me ask you something, why is it a soccer mom can set up a protest on facebook at an abortion clinic and 200 people show up. But why wasnt there 10, 000 trucks decending on DC when the new HOS were put into place? you dont need a nationwide strike. You go to DC, you line the streets and you march to the capital! Bitching on a forum or the cb is only going to get what you have been getting, and thats nothing.
Simple answer. Either ban the state or increase the shipping rate. If the advg. Rste is lets say 2.50 pcm charge 3.50 pcm to cover the charges. Unions will not be able to do anything towards state regulations if so the teamsters would controll the states laws in taxes. If everyone stuck together and boycotted the state this shit would end. Untill all drivers back each other up nothing will ever be done. Look at france a while a go the truck drivers and trucking companies shut down causing the country to change its laws
You guys are so worried about the tax you forget the scariest issue…gps tracking..loss of freedom..we as americans are already caged in this country numbered and cannot do a single thing without first asking permission…this is not freedom this is another ploy for the government to gain more control over the populace…it is truly frightening that you are so worried about money and not your freedom that is slowly year by year being taken from you…americans=sheep in a pen
I Strongly Agree with lonehighway BUT ! It is PART of the BIG PICTURE ! more like a smoke screen while all the time they are setting us up for something else it’s constant with all State and Federal Government eating away at what ever WE want or Do YES IT’S TIME TO SLAM ON THE BRAKES an PUT A STOP TO EVERY THING THAT GIVES OUR STATES AN FEDS ARE DOING TO US AND THE CITIZENS OF AMERICA I would love no better to BARGE INTO THEIR OFFICES AND HAUL THEM OUT TO THE FLAG POLE AND HOIST THEM UP BY THEIR PANTIES and DO a VICTORY DANCE AROUND THE POLE.
Remember this isnt just for commercial vehichles…every car truck motorcycle…everything we do watched and governed…they will know where you go how you go they will know everything..freedom is lost…america has no hope and sad thing is you cannot even leave without first asking permission ie; passport…again.. caged..sheep in a pen
WHERE IS AMERICA GOING with ALL these FOREIGNERS or COUNTRY MEN that have been elected AS PUBLIC OFFICERS and ALL they want is to do increase Public TAXATION to NEW HIGHER limits than ever before and CREATE ! NEW TAXES or Ridiculous TAXES on WHAT EVER THE PUBLIC DOES or WANTS or HAS TO DO WITH BUSINESS. IS AMERICA REALLY BECOMING THE NEXT THIRD WORLD COUNTRY ! and ALL these POLITICAL POLITICIANS investing into THIRD WORLD COMPANIES THAT ARE RUINING our ECONOMY JUST SO THEY CAN CAPITALIZE THEY OWN INVESTMENTS ! Making laws and regulations SO rigid that existing business has to close its doors and new ones are almost impossible to open or stay open WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE THE TIME EVERYONE IS FEED UP ! IS THE TIME NOW ? or AFTER IT’S TO LATE ? and EVERYONE HAS THEIR MICROCHIP ? LOL NO REALLY I WILL SHOOT THE FIRST ONE THAT TRIES TO TRANSPLANT A MICROCHIP IN ME OR ANYONE ELSE OTHER THAN A CONVIC. WE THE PEOPLE NEED TO STOP ALL ! FORIEGN POLITICS AND IMPORTATION INCLUDING THE OIL ! WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO RUN CARS ON WATER ! YES I SAID WATER ! ” UTUBE STAN MAYER “
patrick steinbacher says
high everyone,, quiet interesting to read this article. I am swiss citizen but life and work in the US. back in Switzerland the road tax for a 40000 kg truck (probably around 87000 lbs gross) is according to the engines emission around 1.10 dollar per kilometer,, so a mile with such a truck would cost in road tax around 1.65 dollar. older engines like Euro 0,1,2,3,4 can be taxed even higher. newer low emission engine you operate, the less road tax has to be payed. I used to own trucks back in Switzerland, as an example I payed just on road tax around 80000.– dollar in one year, the fuel tax is per liter in Switzerland around 0.90 cents per liter, equivalent dollars 3.60 per gallon just in fuel tax,, one liter of diesel costs around 1.70 dollars or more.every commercial truck over 7.5 tons needs to have mandatory a GPS based electronic reader that is hooked up with the odometer, only government approved service points can install,,, the installation fee has to be payed by the truckin company,, around 600.– bucks. this equipment stops automatically on the swiss border and shuts off,, you go back to Switzerland it goes on again, installations on the border and throughout the country on major roads are communicating and controlling if declaration is according to the law. by the end of the month,, the driver has about 4 days time to download the data with a chip card and send the card to the government,, after a couple of days you will get the bill.. you don’t pay the bill in time, the immatriculation of the truck is voided. this tax has to be payed empty or loaded, on private property , it even counts if your drivin in reverse, no ways to fool with the system, no gray zone no nothing. with all of this money they subsidise the train system (imagine this,, the trucks are supporting with their tax money their competitor…), parts of the money go into street maintaining projects. when this outrageous tax started,, many companys went bankrupt,, because they didn’t fully billed this outrageous tax to there customers,, easily you pay 600 dollars on tax per day,, so better be very accurate with your calculation. so big brother has already taken over in some European countrys, Germany has a similar system (but only taxed on autobahns..). the most incredible thing is,, that this crazy tax has been voted by the swiss population,, too many people thought,, they will have less trucks on the roads by supporting the railway,, conclusion of the story, that every consumer will have to pay more dollars for the products they buy, sooner or later every product will be transported by road.. how much this system will affect the cost of goods for example in the logging business.. the logging tax pays the tax hauling the logs out of the forest to the sawmill,, the next truck pays tax from the sawmill to the furniture plant,, the next truck pays tax from the furniture plant to the warehouse,, the next truck from the warehouse to the store… so the government is getting the money wherever they can,, a brainwashed population backs this up. what can a profitable trucking company do to stay in business?? put the cost of all this additional taxes FULLY to their bill. it is not only government regulation that brings trucking business a lot of headaches,, most of the headaches are trucking buisnesses drivin the freight for to low prices. so what seems to be a nightmare for some truckers here to come,, I sure can confirm,, that this nightmare is a ongoing reality in parts of Europe since back in 2002..
HOW MANY DRIVERS TALKING TRASH WENT TO THE WASHINGTON, DC FUEL RALLY MARCH 30, 2008 ????? TALK IS CHEAP !!!
I WAS AT THAT RALLY..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…WHERE WERE YOU AT THAT TIME ?????
And what exactly did that rally accomplish??? Nothing.. rallies are a waste of time..
I will simply turn down loads going to Ore, Just like I do with N.Y. City….You want my goods? Then show the proper respect!!
Here’s the real issue: cars and trucks alike have been forced by the government to become more efficient and use less fuel. What these idiots in politics forgot to realize is more efficent vehicles = less fuel consumption which in turn = less tax revenues from the gas pumps.
Oh no! We can’t have that! We’re losing money because people are actually listening to us by going green! We’ll have to tax them for being energy efficient.
So, you’re still going to punish (tax) me because I’m trying to save money, help the environment and above all, listen and do to what you’re saying by going green?
When does it stop?
People are slow to, if not totally opposed to, change. New laws are CONSTANTLY being enacted at local state and federal levels to supposedly (and in the name of progress) improve our quality of life. The original principle of government is to help people do collectively, what they cannot do as well individually. It would seem our elected leaders have completely lost sight of this. If we the people want to make changes in the way we are governed, we need to start at the beginning. Stop voting to re-elect the fat cats on capitol hill who pander to special interests at our expense. As long as we remain apathetic, we deserve to be treated like cattle, and have our quality of life degraded. Stand for something or fall for anything. Don’t forget “by the consent of the governed”!
detroit diesel says
Yes please someone organize a truckers union. Not a union to go against companies but to stop this ridiculous government from stealing from my already low paycheck whenever it wants to. Im in!
Why do you think the government passed ELD in 2015. TAXES. GPS always on tracks location as soon as you turn on the key. Nothing to do with safety. This of course is only 1 reason. There are more, another day perhaps I’ll list them.