California offers $400 for alternative road repair funding

Road Charge could end up being a replacement for the gas tax.

The state of California is exploring alternative methods to fund road repairs as it shifts toward electric and hybrid vehicles, which reduce reliance on gasoline and diesel taxes for infrastructure funding.

Currently, about 80% of highway and road repairs in California are funded through a tax on gasoline charged at the pump, with the average Californian paying around $300 a year in state gas taxes.


The big picture: California is introducing a study to test a per-mile fee known as Road Charge as a prospective replacement for the gas tax, with the aim of creating a fair and sustainable funding model for road repairs.

  • As part of this study, the state is offering drivers up to $400 to participate in testing the Road Charge fee, which would vary based on the distance driven and provide an alternative means to fund highway and road maintenance.
  • Interested participants can sign up for the study online until June, after which the selected participants will drive as usual and pay their Road Charge online from August to January 2025, while also completing two surveys during this period.
  • Upon completing the required activities, participants will receive up to $400, with an initial payment of $100 distributed in September and the remaining $300 distributed in February 2025. Additionally, participants may also receive a gas tax or electric vehicle registration fee credit at the end of the pilot program.
  • The Road Charge fee system aims to create a structure where those who drive more would contribute more toward highway and road repairs, offering a potential solution tailored to the changing landscape of vehicle usage and fuel consumption.
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