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Distributional impacts of changing from a gasoline tax to a vehicle-mile tax for light vehicles: A case study of Oregon

  • Starr McMullen, B.
  • Zhang, Lei
  • Nakahara, Kyle
Registered author(s):

    A vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) tax is frequently mentioned as viable alternative to a fuel tax for collecting highway users fees from light vehicles. Both a static model and a regression based model are used here to assess the distributional impacts of a switch from a fuel tax to a VMT tax for the state of Oregon. The VMT tax is found to be slightly more regressive than the fuel tax and rural households are found to actually benefit relative to urban households under a VMT tax. Two alternative VMT structures that might increase incentives to use more fuel efficient vehicles are provided, but both are found to be even more regressive than a flat VMT tax.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transport Policy.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 6 (November)
    Pages: 359-366

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:17:y:2010:i:6:p:359-366
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    1. Kavalec, Chris & Setiawan, Winardi, 1997. "An analysis of per mile pollution fees for motor vehicles in California's south coast," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 267-273, October.
    2. Kenneth A. Small & Kurt Van Dender, 2007. "Fuel Efficiency and Motor Vehicle Travel: The Declining Rebound Effect," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 25-52.
    3. Poterba, J.M., 1990. "Is The Gasoline Tax Regressive?," Working papers 568, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    4. Walls, Margaret & Hanson, Jean, 1999. "Distributional Aspects of an Environmental Tax Shift: The Case of Motor Vehicle Emissions Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 1), pages 53-65, March.
    5. Parry, Ian & Small, Kenneth, 2002. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," Discussion Papers dp-02-12-, Resources For the Future.
    6. Sarah E. West, 2005. "Equity Implications of Vehicle Emissions Taxes," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 39(1), pages 1-24, January.
    7. West, Sarah E. & Williams III, Roberton C., 2007. "Optimal taxation and cross-price effects on labor supply: Estimates of the optimal gas tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 593-617, April.
    8. Meghan R. Busse & Christopher R. Knittel & Florian Zettelmeyer, 2009. "Pain at the Pump: The Differential Effect of Gasoline Prices on New and Used Automobile Markets," NBER Working Papers 15590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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