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Minnesota to Test for Possible Driver’s Mileage Tax

April 21, 2011

ibtimes.com

Minnesota is looking for people to test technology that could one day be used to collect fees based on driving mileage.

“This research will provide important feedback from motorists about the effectiveness of using technology in a car or truck to gather mileage information,” said Cory Johnson, project manager for the Minnesota Department of Transportation in a statement on Monday.

(Photo: REUTERS / Joshua Lott)
A traffic aide directs vehicles along the 3rd Avenue bridge across the Mississippi River during rush hour in Minneapolis, Minnesota August 2, 2007.

(Photo: REUTERS / Joshua Lott)
A traffic aide directs vehicles along the 3rd Avenue bridge across the Mississippi River during rush hour in Minneapolis, Minnesota August 2, 2007.
  
The department says it anticipates a fee on road use could same day be necessary as people switch to more fuel efficient cars and electric vehicles, reducing tax revenue from gasoline.

“We are researching alternative financing methods today that could be used 10 or 20 years from now when the number of fuel efficient and hybrid cars increase and no longer produce enough revenue from a gas tax to build and repair roads,” he said.

The Department said if implemented, motorists would pay a fee based on miles driven, rather than how much gasoline the vehicle uses, which is now the case in the state.

The department is seeking 500 people for the Minnesota Road Fee Test, which is set to start in July. Volunteers should be from the counties of Hennepin or Wright. They will be given a small stipend for their time, along with smartphones with a GPS application to allow them to submit information. The research will end by December 2012.

Participants needed will be a mix of rural and metro area travelers.

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