Americans Support Mileage-Based Fees to Fund Infrastructure

April 29, 2016

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The majority of Americans would support road-usage fees to help fund transportation costs, according to a recent opinion survey by infrastructure solutions firm HNTB.

HNTB’s Transportation Mobility 2016 survey found that 65% of Americans support options such as mileage-based fees to fund infrastructure improvements.

And close to 69% of Americans surveyed agreed that priced managed lanes should be considered when making improvements to U.S. highways.

“The growing recognition that new ways are needed to pay the costs of maintaining and building our transportation infrastructure, shows Americans understand the fundamental shifts in funding infrastructure are happening,” said Matthew Click, ACIP, HNTB national director of priced managed lanes and vice president. “More and more people realize that road-usage fees options are needed to fill the gaps resulting from declining ability of federal gas taxes to provide needed funds.”

Respondents' age was also a factor in the shift in how infrastructure should be funded over the next ten years. Millennials preferred increased taxes to user fees instead of fuel taxes while Baby Bboomers were still in favor of fuel taxes. Millennials and Gen-Xers were also shown to be more likely than Baby Boomers and seniors to prefer paying for local infrastructure needs through higher property taxes.

“The use of traditional approaches, such as federal gas taxes, sales and property taxes, continue to be favored by certain segments of the population,” said Click.

Again, younger – ages 18-24 - generations surveyed showed a preference for mileage-based user fees as well at 77% vs. 63% of older Americans. Younger generations also showed that they valued increased public transportation as a way to reduce traffic congestion.

“The differences among younger Americans from their older counterparts in how to fund infrastructure is likely a reflection of their increased reliance on public transit over private automobiles, and a lower rate of home ownership than older Americans,” said Click.

HNTB’s America Thinks Transportation Mobility 2016 survey was conducted among 1,002 nationally representative American adults. The survey was conducted suing an email invitation and online survey.


  1. 1. Larry Reznik [ April 30, 2016 @ 07:54AM ]

    "More and more people realize..." No, they don't. ""More and more people" haven't thought this through. "More and more people" don't understand that a VMT system means creating a massive new government bureaucracy from scratch, and millions upon millions of dollars that could go directly to highway funding will instead be diverted just to sustain this new bureaucracy.

    One of the major points cited by advocates of a VMT tax is that hybrid and electric vehicle owners aren't paying their fair share for road improvements. Easy, easy fix: Impose a surcharge on these vehicles when the owners renew their plates each year; have one surcharge level for hybrid vehicles, and a higher surcharge for fully electric vehicles. If you like, throw in another surcharge for vehicles over a certain weight, as they cause more wear to the pavement. Problem solved.

    Yes, we do need more money going toward highway and infrastructure funding. I like having decent roads and bridges to drive on and I don't mind paying more to do so. But all we need to do is raise the existing gas tax; it's already in place, and you can start collecting that extra revenue right from day one.

    The main reason that governments are seeking an alternative to the current gas tax system is that the state and federal fuel taxes haven't been raised in years, hence the shortfall in highway revenue. But this issue can be solved simply by adjusting these taxes on a quarterly or annual basis to account for inflation and to account for the collective fuel efficiency increase of the American fleet.

  2. 2. Vee [ May 02, 2016 @ 04:33AM ]

    How many people actually took that,survey.. 5?? You have local, state and federal taxes using fuel tax for everything but what it was intended for, you CAN NOT sustain any account for new roads or maintenance if you keep taking from Peter to give to Paul. Larry Reznik, they already tax larger vehicles per year, per truck for hwy useage, it's called 2290's Highway Road Useage of the tune of $550.00 per truck, per year, now let's talk about that in itself, oh let's say there's 3 million trucks in the road....can your calculator do the math?? But I agree with you the VMT overall would not work, especially since they do not plan to eliminate the fuel tax, or so I hear....what needs to be done is an overhaul on government and the way they do budgets, you can not count money that's not there!!

  3. 3. richard hockett [ May 02, 2016 @ 05:32AM ]

    a 1000 people does not make this survey correct. how about the government pull back on their spending like the rest of us had too.

  4. 4. Michael Galorath [ May 02, 2016 @ 06:30AM ]

    The state of Illinois has proposed the do the same at $ 01.5 a mile base line of 30,000 miles for each car at $450.00. Plus an increase of .49 cents per gallon. All to be tracked by a device installed into your vehicle. How will states going to charge the trucks that only pass through the state and don’t even stop but to use a bathroom. Are we going to put trolls at every border crossing. How will this tax going to affect us if the federal government gets their act together? Will this tax be on top of the federal taxes? How are you going to charge the trucking industry where the truck is registered like in Indiana but domiciled in Illinois?
    How is this large amount being added to every vehicle? How will it affect the economy? Every vehicle being driven on Illinois will have to pay an added let’s call it a road use tax. ( it’s not a fee it’s a tax) at a minimum of $450.00. Now the cost of food, trash pickup, bus services need I go on. I've read that people with electric cars would be exempt from the tax. We already allow electric cars to park in better locations then handicapped drivers. Smarter people then our elected officials need to come up with a solution not the senate or congress! Start off with small amounts then add as needed. Like that will happen! We will need to hire street sweepers to clean the streets of horse manure!

  5. 5. JD [ May 02, 2016 @ 10:01AM ]

    Of course millennials prefer higher property taxes because none of us "own" property. They can't get a job with their useless degree, so they have no money to buy property.

  6. 6. Stephen [ May 02, 2016 @ 11:08AM ]

    I do not want mileage based "user" fees. The gas tax is the best, just augment it for those vehicles that are electric or hybirds.

  7. 7. Jon [ May 02, 2016 @ 12:33PM ]

    Absolutely not! Gas tax is plenty, and of course a surcharge on hybrid and electric vehicles.

  8. 8. Dennis [ May 03, 2016 @ 01:50PM ]

    The premise of this story, and information in the story indicate an un-informed public on regards to current taxation. The total Fuel Taxes, Federal AND State, are in excess of 60 cents PER GALLON. The misappropriation or "redirecting" of fuel taxes into social programs is the main culprit in our Infrastructure Shortfalls. Add to that the mass transit projects funded by fuel taxes, while only recouping 15% of the operating costs from the Mass Transit Users (riders). Stated another way, Fuel Taxes pay 85% of the daily costs of running your Subways, Trains and Buses, plus almost all of the Infrastructure Costs to build and purchase them.
    Trucks and cars already give mass transit riders a free (or majority-subsidized) ride. This story reflects a dirth of knowledge in the population about current taxing and spending policies of our gov't. Everyone wants something free; that is "Somebody Else" is paying for it.

  9. 9. Brian White [ May 06, 2016 @ 08:20AM ]

    Did anyone else notice that the geniuses at HNTB didn't mention even ONCE the problem with transportation infrastructure funding bills being loaded up with so much pork that it forces some members of Congress to vote against it? Or the other problem of money that IS appropriated for transportation infrastructure being absconded with by those very same politicians every time a natural disaster happens?

  10. 10. Zoran Alijevic [ May 08, 2016 @ 10:15AM ]

    They should increase registration on vehicles over 2.0 liter engine for 150$ . Use that and fuel tax money towards road repairs and mass transport expansion.

  11. 11. David Harmin [ May 08, 2016 @ 07:01PM ]

    Why are you friggin misrepresenting this issue. Gas tax on cars and lite truck pay about five percent of the taxes needed for the roads. None comes out of income tax. You horses ass's never tell the truth and never stop spending monies on other things from road taxes! I owned a small trucking company. I got a breakdown of where it was spent and where it should have been spent. Shut the mass transit systems down that haven't made money or repaid the money given them. The state of Oregon has started collecting mileage fees on plates only fair way is everybody pays not just trucks and farmer!


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