The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has launched a survey to understand what Kansans think about how highways and bridges are funded. This survey is the first step in a voluntary Midwest Road Usage Charge (RUC) Study that KDOT is leading. RUC is a funding mechanism where drivers pay to use the road based on the miles driven. The goal of the study is to identify how a RUC system would function in Kansas and the Midwest to help fund transportation investments.

Currently, funding for most roads and bridges in the state comes from motor fuel taxes paid at the pump. With an increase in the number of electric vehicles, more efficient diesel and gas vehicles, and people driving fewer miles, this funding is declining. An RUC has been discussed nationwide, but so far most of the research has been conducted on the East and West Coasts. KDOT’s RUC Study is the first to focus on the Midwest.

Additionally, the bipartisan infrastructure bill currently before Congress would establish a national study to assess how a mileage tax would be implemented. A national motor vehicle per-mile user fee pilot would recruit volunteers with passenger and commercial vehicles across the country to participate in a program to study how a per-mile fee would be monitored and collected. No specific rate is referenced in legislation currently.

American Farm Bureau policy 125 2.19 states “we oppose creation of a federal vehicle mileage tax, which would tax motorists based on the number of miles driven.”

We encourage you to participate in the survey and provide feedback so the voices in rural Kansas will be heard.