Rep. Earl Blumenauer Pitches User Charge to Spur Infrastructure Funding at Fifth Annual MBUFA National Conference

Representative Earl Blumenauer addressed attendees at this year's MBUFA National Conference about the inclusion of a user charge to spur infrastructure funding in the nation.

At this year's conference, six panels discussed the rapidly changing landscape of issues facing transportation funding throughout the world and heard from experts on the state of the pilots in the U.S. and obstacles they are working to overcome for a national system.

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Transportation infrastructure in the United States is funded primarily by the excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. The gas tax at the Federal level is not indexed to inflation and due to increases in fuel efficiency, revenues generated have declined significantly.

A mileage based user fee (MBUF) or vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fee is a user charge based on miles driven in a specific vehicle as opposed to the current excise tax on fuel consumed. 

There are many potential technologies for operating a mileage-based system and it is possible that offering options may be most effective for implementation. 

In the United States, states are taking a lead in helping to resolve many of the implementation questions by working with academia, industry partners and each other to devise mileage-based user fee pilot projects around the country. 

There are many misconceptions about privacy, fairness, double taxation, anti-fuel efficiency and interoperability.

What are some frequently asked questions about MBUF?