Input Sought on Hawai‘i Road Usage Charge

April 16, 2019, 6:39 AM HST · Updated April 16, 6:39 AM
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The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation is seeking public input on a potential road usage charge that could replace the current 16 cents per gallon state fuel tax.  State officials say it would not be an additional tax.

The department had a total of 14 meetings scheduled statewide, with the remaining meetings scheduled on Oʻahu (April 16 and 17) and in Hilo (on May 9).

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For those that may have missed the Maui meetings, there is an online meeting available statewide this Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Ed Sniffen, the Deputy Director of the Highways Division said the current fuel tax system is becoming less and less fair as those who own older, less efficient cars pay more per mile than those able to purchase newer high efficiency or alternative fuel vehicles.  Under a road usage charge system all vehicles would pay the same amount per mile driven.

Based on early feedback received at public meetings, the HDOT project team will also be examining how a road use charge  could exempt off-road driving, address collection and enforcement concerns, impacts on long-distance commuters, and more.  Important factors such as sustainability, fairness, information and privacy protection, and other topics will be addressed.

ONLINE MEETING (STATEWIDE)

  • Thursday, April 18 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
  • The meeting will be broadcast live on YouTube: tinyurl.com/HiRUCMeeting
  • If viewing on a mobile device it is recommended to use the YouTube app. If you do not have the YouTube app click here
  • Questions and comments can be emailed to [email protected]  during the meeting.

This research will guide the study and form the basis of recommendations from the administration to the legislature.

In a RUC system, vehicle owners pay for actual miles driven instead of paying a state tax on the fuel they purchase. Hawaiʻi is one of a dozen states including California and Oregon researching whether the switch to a pay-per-mile-driven charge is feasible and how it might be implemented.

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