There has recently been interest in changing the way road maintenance is funded. I understand gasoline taxes currently pay most of the bill, with registration and other fees covering the rest.

The relative decrease in fuel tax income, due to increased vehicle efficiencies, has alerted political and administrative authorities to the need for alternative funding. One consideration is a “travel tax” which would charge a fee per mile driven, rather than per gallon consumed.

While this has some merit, problem solvers need to remember that it is not the gallons consumed per mile or the total miles driven that causes the wear and tear on the roadways. It’s the gross weight of the vehicles traveling those miles.

That is considered in registration and use fees.

Bicycles ride for “free.” Motorcycles pay less than passenger cars and light trucks, which pay less than dump trucks, which pay less than 18 wheelers.

Any change in the way street and highway maintenance is funded needs to take into consideration what is causing the wear. An Escalade causes more damage than a Prius.

Andy White

Holladay