Access User Fee: the business case and pathway to a modern transportation funding future.
- July 6, 2023
- Posted by: Joe Milazzo II
- Category: Blog
RTA members and partners,
The regional and statewide business community continues our push for an access user fee as a simple, fair, and resilient method of replacing the state gas tax to modernize and stabilize transportation funding. As we continue our advocacy efforts in concert with the NC Chamber and other partners, I thought it would be helpful for our members and partners to have ready “access” to several of the bullets we use to describe the benefits of the access user fee approach.
See below. Please reply with questions.
Let’s get moving,
Access user fee – summary
- The travel-dependent funding nature and associated revenue instability of the current gas tax is increasingly unfair for rural residents and unreliable for funding highway projects across the state.
- A single, consistent access fee price for all vehicles would be simple, fair, transparent, equitable, resilient – and predictable and stable for consumers, and for NCDOT.
- North Carolina has had an EV fee for 10 years – an access fee simply modernizes the rate and applies it equally to all non-diesel vehicles.
- An access fee is a user fee, not a usage fee, analogous to a typical mobile phone bill, which doesn’t vary from month-to-month based on minutes or miles used.
- The access fee can be set equal to the average gas tax paid annually per registered vehicle in North Carolina; currently $251 per year or around $21 per month.
- Activating an access fee and simultaneously repealing the gas tax would be revenue neutral upon implementation.
- An access fee mitigates revenue risk from both ongoing increases in fleet fuel economy and volatility in vehicle miles traveled due to the pandemic and economic cycles.
- Were an access fee in place since 2012, the state would have collected an additional $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion in cumulative revenue over the past decade.
- Repealing the gas tax will lower gas prices, making our c-stores more competitive and increasing sales tax revenue for the state – 6% of which will go to transportation.
Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA executive director