A California road toll proposal would have motorists pay by miles driven instead of a per-gallon gas tax

Los Angeles (KABC) — California’s roads are maintained through gas tax revenue, but that is dwindling as the number of electric cars increases.

A new pilot program aims to charge drivers to use the roads based on how much they actually drive, by removing California’s fuel tax and replacing it with a mileage tax instead.

Caltrans spokeswoman Lauren Prihoda said road maintenance costs $8 billion to $9 billion a year, with the vast majority of the money coming from California gas taxes, which are collected every time a driver fills a gas tank.

According to Caltrans, California now has more than 1.2 million hybrid or electric vehicles registered in the state, which means lower gas tax revenues.

“On average, Californians pay about $300 a year in state gas taxes,” Prihoda said. “EVs incur a $100 (annual) registration fee…that’s a loss of $200 million per year.”

To fill this gap, Caltrans proposes what it calls… california toll road, Which would tax drivers on the number of miles they drive.

Mileage can be tracked by attaching an electronic device to the vehicle, using the vehicle’s built-in tracking system, or simply by sending photos of the vehicle’s odometer, according to Caltrans.

“Everyone has different levels of comfort when we manage our data between efficiency and privacy, which is why it’s really important to have options from low-tech to high-tech,” Prihoda said.

Caltrans will begin a six-month pilot program in June, designed to test the Road Charge program. Volunteers can Sign up to track their miles, fill out some surveys and earn up to $400 for participating.

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It’s up to the state Legislature to decide whether tolls should actually replace the gas tax.

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