The Conversation: Gas Tax or Road Usage Charge

Apr 17, 2019

Credit Wikimedia via CC by 2.0

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is looking for a few hundred volunteers to take part in a pilot project studying the potential of a road usage charge, which would help fund road maintenance, preservation and improvements. It's similar to Oregon's OReGO proogram.

The pilot program comes as the state considers a possible gas tax replacement that would be fair to all road users, including those driving electric vehicles.

Should HDOT get funded by a gas tax, road usage charge or something in between? Could a program similar to Oregon's give island residents a break from the nearly $4 bucks a gallon for gas paid now?

Those were just a few of the questions raised on today's show.  Our guest panelists were: 

  • Ed Sniffen, State Highways Deputy Director 
  • Tom Yamachika, President of  The Tax Foundation of Hawaii

Drivers can also learn about the road charge proposal during an online town hall meeting that runs tomorrow, April 18, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. To view the meeting, go to road usage charge project page on YouTube.

Any questions or comments can be emailed to during the meeting. For more information, visit the DOT's website.