By Andrea Flores
DENVER (CBS4) – A new Colorado Department of Transportation research study could change the way you pay to get around.
“The primary way we pay for our roads is through a gas tax,” said CDOT Communication Manager Amy Ford. “That gas tax is dying for a number of reasons and it’s not keeping up with all of our growth.”
Reports show Colorado’s current 40-cent gas tax, a combination of state and federal taxes, isn’t keeping up with the times.
“The gas tax has been something that has served us well in the last 100 years, but the reality is, with technology and vehicles, that’s changing,” Ford said.
As an alternative, CDOT is working on a pilot that would charge drivers 1.2 cents cents per mile.
“You essentially pay for as many miles as you travel on the roads,” said Ford.
With an $800 million a year funding gap, CDOT says population growth and fuel-efficient vehicles are doing little to help.
“The reality is, they’re driving on a road that needs to be kept up, and if we don’t have the funds to do that right now, we’re going to be in a significant challenge,” said Ford.
Over the next few months, the pilot will also look at differences between rural and urban drivers.
“Rural drivers tend to drive long distances, but take less trips, whereas urban drivers drive a lot of trips, but they travel less distances,” Ford said. “Really what the road usage charge is about is fairness.”
CDOT is accepting applications up to 100 drivers interested in the pilot program.
Curious about what you pay in gas tax compared to a pay-by-mile system? Use the CDOT calculator.