VMT a positive effect to funding needs

Published: August 30, 2013
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Regarding “Bumpy ride ahead as Oklahoma road revenues decline” (Our Views, Aug. 12): The topic of a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax should bring about much discussion in a state whose funding for roads and bridges is barely covering its needs. The sole idea of taxing motorists on the miles they travel as opposed to the gas they purchase will positively affect the funding needed to improve Oklahoma's deficient roads and bridges. With the inundation of hybrid and fuel-efficient cars in the country, Oklahoma must keep up with inflation; the current gas tax system is no longer working. The detrimental effects of hybrid and electric cars and the stress they place on roads and bridges was explained by Bobby Stem, executive director of the Association of Oklahoma General Contractors in “Funds help pay for roads and bridges,” published last November by The Oklahoman.

Now's the time to encourage change on both a local and national level. Oregon is leading the charge with this VMT; several states are following suit. We need to have a discussion in Oklahoma about this policy and how it might affect our state. Infrastructure is key to economic growth and development. Common ground among state leaders and legislators must be found to bring about lasting change for our state.

Rich Horrocks, Oklahoma City

Horrocks is board president of the Association of Oklahoma General Contractors.


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