What is the Road User Fee Task Force?
The Oregon Legislature created the Road User Fee Task Force in 2001 when members recognized that hybrid and electric vehicles were becoming widespread. Since these vehicles consume little or no fuel, their owners pay little to no fuels tax for their use of the road. The task force was charged with finding a viable alternative to the state gas tax that could generate sustainable funding for Oregon's transportation system.
After exploring a number of options such as a tire tax, a battery tax, and expanding other user fees such as the gas tax and registration fees, the group landed on a per-mile charge as the most fair and accurate way to pay for state roads and bridges. The group directed two ODOT pilot projects in 2006 and 2012 that tested a pay-by-the-mile charging system.
The task force is now focused on developing OReGO, the first fully-operational, revenue-generating, per-mile charging system in the U.S., launched July 1, 2015.
Find task force meeting materials and information here.
Interact with the task force
Road User Fee Task Force members value information and feedback from the public. If you wish to speak or write to the task force on any topic - including items not on the current agenda - please sign up to provide testimony by emailing your request to OfficeInnovation@odot.oregon.gov.
The task force reserves the first minutes of each meeting for public testimony.
To comment, testify or present information to the task force in person, please follow these steps:
- Email written summaries of information to the task force here: OfficeInnovation@odot.oregon.gov
- Limit oral testimony to three (3) minutes, recognizing that substance, not length, determines the value of testimony or written information.
- Endorse (rather than repeat) the testimony of other witnesses with whom you agree.
- If testimony is provided by a group or organization, designate one spokesperson to provide it.
To mail in written comments, use this address:
Road User Fee Task Force
Attn: Office of Innovative Funding
Oregon Department of Transportation
355 Capitol Street NE, MS32
Salem, OR 97301
Task force members and terms
The Road User Fee Task Force has 12 voting members. Members are appointed by the Governor, Senate President and House Speaker, plus two members appointed by the Chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC). Generally, members serve four-year terms.
Task Force members (updated March 25, 2020):
- OTC Commissioner Julie Brown (Chair)
- OTC Commissioner (vacant)
- City Official Councilor Steve Uffelman, City of Prineville
- County Official Commissioner Dan Dorran, Umatilla County
- At-Large (vacant)
- At-Large Marie Dodds, AAA
- At-Large Bruce Zimmerman, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
- At-Large Jeff Allen, Forth
- House Member (R) Rep. Rick Lewis
- House Member (D) Rep. John Lively (Vice Chair)
- Senator (R) (vacant)
- Senator (D) (vacant)
History of the Road User Fee Task Force
The Oregon Legislature created the Road User Fee Task Force in 2001 to develop a revenue collection system that would fund Oregon's roads and highways in place of the existing state fuels tax. Because fuel taxes had not kept pace with inflation and, recognizing that mpg ratings of vehicles steadily improved over two decades, legislators anticipated that revenues for maintaining and improving the state's road system would soon start to decline and ultimately fail to keep pace with state transportation needs.
The founding members of the Road User Fee Task Force were:
- Representative Bruce Starr
- Representative Joanne Verger
- Senator Gary George
- Senator Susan Castillo
- Mayor Jim Torrey
- Judge Luara Pryor
- John Watt
- John Charles
- Dr. Chris Bell
- Roger Hinshaw
- John Russell
- Randy Pape
Early road usage charge pilots
The task force studied 28 different options, eventually determining that a new system should be designed that would assess costs to drivers based on the number of miles they drive on Oregon public roads and highways.
Two pilot programs were conducted in 2006-2007 and 2012-2013, during which system technology and administration was tested and refined. In 2013, the Oregon Legislative Assembly enacted Senate Bill 810, creating a permanent voluntary program, now known as OReGO, in which up to 5,000 vehicles would pay 1.5 cents per mile in lieu of the fuels tax.
Oregon launches the nation's first road usage charge system
OReGO launched July 1, 2015. Drivers use onboard, connected technology to report miles traveled on Oregon public roads. They are billed for costs accrued that exceed the amount of fuels tax they paid at the pump. As directed by the bill, OReGO has no sunset date and continues to operate today with hundreds of volunteer drivers.
Senate Bill 810 also permits ODOT to enter into agreements with other state departments of transportation, the federal government, and Canadian provinces to undertake certain actions. These include conducting research related to road usage charging and development programs; furthering the development and operation of the OReGO program; sharing research costs; and developing a stakeholder outreach and communication program related to road usage charging.
Subsequent road usage charge legislation
In 2019, House Bill 2881 progressively broadened incentives for drivers to enroll in OReGO while also excluding inefficient vehicles. Vehicles rated under 20 mpg were excluded from the program because drivers were less likely to pay any road charges once a credit for fuel tax was applied to their account.
House Bill 2881 also permitted vehicles with a combined rating of 40 mpg or better to enroll in OReGO and be exempt from enhanced registration surcharges established two years earlier (HB 2017, 2017). The bill incentivized drivers of a new class of vehicles to experience OReGO. HB 2881 also removed the cap on the number of vehicles that could enroll in the program; indexed the road usage charge rate to five percent (5%) of the per gallon state fuels tax rate; and, eliminated refunds for those who paid more in fuels tax than is owed in road usage charges.
Current work of the task force
As the program continues to grow and additional vehicles are enrolled, the Office of Innovative Funding (OIF) is working to ensure that OReGO evolves and adapts to changes. Moreover, the OIF is directly contributing to the goals and priorities laid out in ODOT's Strategic Action Plan related to its priority of sufficient and reliable funding, as well as the strategic outcome of implementing large-scale road usage charging in Oregon.
In pursuit of a large-scale program, the Road User Feel Task Force proposed legislation during the 2021 legislative session. The legislative concept would have mandated participation in OReGO for registered owners and lessees of passenger vehicles of model year 2027 and newer that achieve 30 mpg or better, beginning July 1, 2026. Ultimately, action was not taken on the bill, but the task force is developing a legislative concept for the 2023 legislative session that has similar intent but a later timeline for implementation.
Task force reports to the Oregon Legislature
2021 Road User Fee Task Force report
2019 Road User Fee Task Force report
RUFTF REPORT 2019_Final.pdf
2017 Road User Fee Task Force report
RUFTF REPORT 2017.pdf