CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractState and city governments in the United States continue to emphasize user equity in all transportation policy areas, including project evaluation, finance, and operations. In 2016, the State of Indiana House of Representatives introduced House Bill (HB) 1002 in a bid to raise additional revenue for maintaining the state’s road infrastructure. The bill included proposals to increase fuel tax rates and registration fees and implement new fees for alternative-fuel vehicles. As is the case with any new highway finance policy, it is important to project the efficiency and fairness of the proposed legislation. The Indiana Department of Transportation was tasked with forecasting the impact of HB-1002 on revenue generation and equity across the vehicle classes. This paper documents how the forecasts for vehicle use, revenue contribution, and costs incurred by vehicle class were developed by combining and synthesizing existing cost allocation, revenue attribution, and travel demand studies. The study found that HB-1002 would increase revenue by 55% and significantly reduce inequity across vehicle classes compared to the do-nothing scenario (the scenario in which HB-1002 was not adopted). It was found that in the do-nothing scenario, all vehicle classes, with the exception of Class 4 buses, were underpaying their cost responsibilities, whereas the adoption of HB-1002 was found to reduce this inequity greatly. The results of this case study can guide agencies to assess how changes in their road-user taxation and fee structures may impact not only revenue generation but also user equity.



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