Re: “Our View: Tolls needed to keep up with crumbling highways,” Portland Press Herald, Sept. 24:
I have to agree the gas tax is not taking in enough funds to maintain our roads. Our roads need major repairs. The state gas tax is 31 cents. If a car gets 25 mpg, the state tax is $0.0124 per mile. At 12,000 miles per year, the tax is $148.80.
With many cars using much less or no gas, there has to be a different way to get the funds. We need to make the repairs. But toll roads are not the answer. We now have one very unfriendly toll road that costs from $0.034 to $1 per mile to drive. Are you going to have toll gates everywhere? How much of every dollar collected is spent to operate the toll plazas?
A cheaper and fairer way is to pay a yearly rate per mile times the miles traveled. The rates should vary by different size and weight of the vehicle.
The rates could be established by highway engineers to provide enough funds to maintain our roads and bridges in a safe condition. The mileage would have to be verified when you register your car. I believe at least one state uses this tax system.