RTA continues to work with the NC Chamber and partner chambers of commerce across our region and state to advance an “access user fee” framework for modernizing transportation funding.

An access fee 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.

RTA applauds the NC General Assembly for its strong progress on this issue, including the implementation of partial access user fees for both electric and hybrid vehicles. We encourage full implementation of the access user fee for all non-diesel vehicles.

 

The concept is this:

  • 1. Raise the existing, annual partial access user fee ($140.25/year, increasing to $180/year on 1/1/24) to what the owner of a typical gasoline-powered vehicle pays in gas taxes over the course of a year (currently around $251/year or about $21/month);
  • 2. Charge all passenger vehicles the same access user fee rate – whether electric, gasoline, or hybrid;
  • 3. Allow vehicle owners to pay the access user 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.

Gold members

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

Omnia Gold