Issues and Options for a Tax on Vehicle Miles Traveled by Commercial Trucks

Congressional Budget Office

October 17, 2019

Since 2001, spending from the Highway Trust Fund for highway and transit programs has consistently exceeded revenues from taxes on highway users. The Congressional Budget Office projects that without additional revenues or reductions in spending, the fund will be exhausted by 2022. This report examines one option for reducing the trust fund’s imbalances: a tax on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by commercial trucks. Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon already levy such taxes at the state level.

CBO estimates that in 2017, a tax of 1 cent per mile on all roads would have raised about $2.6 billion for the trust fund if imposed on all commercial trucks and about $1.6 billion if imposed only on those with one or more trailers. Revenues would have increased almost proportionally for higher tax rates.

Read the full report here.