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Monday, July 27, 2015

Traveling The OReGO Trail - First Trip

As mentioned in an earlier posts, I've signed up for the OReGO program to see firsthand how the program works. The vehicle I signed up is a 17MPG SUV that I don't drive much.

My first trip is now logged in the system. Ironically, this trip included a stop at the gas station to fill up the tank.

Here is the trip data from the OReGO site:

Depending on your screen size this image may be very hard to read, but I'll walk you through it. The trip was 4.1 miles. They computed that it used 0.33 gallons of gas. The state gas tax is 30¢ per gallon, that mean I paid 10¢ in fuel tax for that 1/3rd of a gallon. The OReGO road tax is 1.5¢ per mile, so 4.1 miles costs 6¢. My 10¢ of gas tax is replaced with 6¢ of mileage tax; this means I get a refund of 4¢.

So, when I drive around in my gas guzzling SUV, my OReGO account will be accruing money. How do I withdraw funds? When this experiment is over (likely when I trade-in this SUV), I'll withdraw the funds and make a donation to my local EV club.

This answered one of my questions about the program. "How do they know how much gas tax I paid?" They do not track (or require reporting) of the gas tax payments. Instead, they compute the gas tax based on fuel use monitoring. They assume fuel used in the state, was purchased in the state. What if I fueled up in Vancouver, WA? I would be getting refunded for a tax I didn't pay and then a discount refund payment on top of that. Would that be tax fraud or evasion? I hope not.