Federal agency releases analysis of VMT tax on trucks

As the Highway Trust Fund is poised to dry up by 2022, Congress is seeking a long-term solution, including a vehicle miles traveled tax. The Congressional Budget Office recently published its analysis of a VMT tax specifically on commercial trucks…

CBO’s report identified two factors to consider when deciding on the tax base: set of trucks and set of roads subject to the tax. Essentially, it is a question of whether to tax all commercial trucks or only combination trucks.

Tax rates can also be done several ways. Much like the tax base, the tax rate can be set based on combination or single unit truck. Another tax rate could be determined by weight per axle. Location and time can also be a form of a tax rate. Certain interstates can be taxed at a variable rate at certain times.

Collection of VMT tax data can accomplished one of three ways: odometer reading, radio-frequency identification readers or through ELDs. Some tax rates would be virtually impossible with some methods. For example, location and time rates could not be applied to odometer readings.