- Associated Press - Sunday, October 30, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana University study says legislators looking to address transportation funding challenges by charging drivers a fee for the number of miles they drive could face strong opposition.

Federal and state governments currently use money generated by a tax on fuel to build and repair roads. But that source of revenue has become insufficient, partly because of an increase in fuel-efficient vehicles on the road.

The university’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs took a look at the popularity of mileage user fees as nearly half the states in the U.S. consider them, The Herald-Times (https://bit.ly/2e5mNJ7) reported.

The study of more than 2,000 Americans found that not only do opponents of mileage user fees outnumber supporters by a ratio of four to one, but they also are more likely to take action to prevent the fees from being implemented.

“It’s safe to conclude the intensity of the opposition is quite high,” said IU associate professor Denvil Duncan, lead author of the study.

The survey included questions about increasing income taxes, tolls and increasing sales taxes to address the transportation funding. All measures were disliked, Duncan said.

The federal government is pulling in about $30 billion from gas taxes annually, but engineers have estimated that the total cost of repairs to roads and bridges will exceed, $200 billion, he said.

Indiana and 22 other states are currently considering mileage user fees.

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Information from: The Herald Times, https://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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