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OCR for page 15
15 of a multimodal approach, and presented recommendations built into the federal-aid program in recent years, many recent related to the treatment of alternative modes in transportation studies have included federal, state, and local revenues in the cost allocation (Wheeler 1996). attribution process (Arizona, California, Idaho, and Nevada), and others have included state and federal revenues in the at- The arguments in favor of a multimodel approach to cost tribution process (Delaware, Kentucky, Vermont, Virginia, allocation identified in the study included: and Wisconsin). Maryland attributes state and local revenues to highway-user classes. Oregon has established a unique ap- An application of transportation cost allocation in a proach. In recent Oregon studies, the numerator of the equity multimodal environment would encourage the emer- ratios has included only state revenues, but the denominator gence of a broader view of the transportation system. has included both state and federal expenditures. The result- Multimodal cost allocation would enhance uniformity ing imbalance is corrected by converting the equity ratios to and coordination when spending decisions are made. adjusted equity ratios by expressing the ratio as shares of Highway users generate external costs (air pollution, total revenue divided by shares of total expenditures, as is congestion, noise) that are typically not addressed commonly done in state HCASs (see further discussion in the in HCASs, but impact society and other modes of levels of government section of chapter five). transportation. Highway users benefit from the multimodal transporta- The 1997 Federal HCAS and virtually all state HCASs tion systems that support the road network. allocate expenditures and attribute revenues to the various user classes for a future time period based on adopted pro- Arguments against the multimodal approach cited by the grams and short-term program and revenue forecasts. Most author were tied to the uncertainty associated with the multi- states focus on programmed state transportation improve- modal approach and its inability to be used to directly set ment program (STIP) expenditures projected over a future highway-user charges. The author also noted the complica- time period. Traffic and other data are also projected forward tions associated with the inability of most other modes (e.g., for the same future years. rail and public transit systems) to recover operating costs through user charges. The logic behind this approach is that forecast data pro- vide a more accurate description of the changing characteris- The author concluded that there is a need to move toward tics of demand for travel and expenditures based on changing a broader application of transportation cost allocation; how- conditions. For example, constrained budgets and the normal ever, more research is needed to implement such a strategy. deterioration of a state's roads and bridges could signal a Required research proposed by the author included: shift in public investment from capacity expansion to opera- tion and maintenance of existing highways. Historical data A detailed review of multimodal economics; would not adequately reflect this trend. To get a better picture The development of a mode-by-mode approach to of expenditures, a state may choose to consider past expen- transportation cost allocation; and ditures (e.g., 2 to 4 years) as well as future program costs, Examination of the feasibility of extending transporta- while being cautious in the treatment of one-time large tion cost allocation to all levels of government, including expenditures. The time periods considered in a number of federal, state, and local government. recent studies are presented in Table 4. Similar to the 1997 Federal HCAS, state HCASs gener- METHODOLOGIES FOR REVENUE ATTRIBUTION ally attribute motor fuel tax revenues based on estimates of travel in the state being examined and motor fuel economy. The process of attributing revenues to highway-user classes is an essential step in any HCAS. The equity ratios created TABLE 4 for each vehicle class serve as the principal findings of state RECENT HCAS STUDY TIME PERIODS HCASs. Although most attention in the literature focuses on cost allocation, revenue attribution has an equal weight in de- Study Study Time Period termining the outcome of an HCAS. Revenue attribution Arizona (1999) 19992003 results in producing the numerator over the cost allocation Idaho (2002) 20012005 denominator in any equity ratio. Guidelines for performing Federal (1997) 2000 revenue attribution are contained in a section of chapter five. Nevada (1999) 19981999, program expenditures States have historically focused on state revenue sources. based on 19992008 STIP Reasons cited for focusing on state revenue sources include Oregon (1999) SFY 2000--SFY 2001 the historic inflexibility with respect to how federal funds Oregon (2007) SFY 2008--SFY 2009 could be used and the inability of states to make adjustments Vermont (2005) 2005 to the federal tax structure. However, because of the flexibility

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16 Miles-per-gallon estimates are generally obtained through The principal issue that must be addressed is how to convert industry surveys, including the Vehicle Inventory and Use payments by user classes that are defined by registration fee Survey (VIUS), or through the default values contained in schedules to user classes examined in the HCAS. For exam- the State HCAS Model prepared for the U.S.DOT. For states ple, the revenue attribution process may require conversion with weight-distance taxes (Kentucky, New Mexico, New of registration fees based on registered gross weight to data York, and Oregon), the revenue attribution process is more based on vehicle body type and axle configuration. Some transparent as distance-based taxes are graduated to reflect states have constructed complex matrices to perform this the declared vehicle weights typically examined in state conversion. For example, a matrix prepared for the state of HCASs. Pennsylvania relied on data provided through VIUS, the In- ternational Registration Plan, and special studies conducted Attribution of registration fees, particularly those of In- at the state level (Jacoby 1990). ternational Registration Plan apportioned vehicles, can be extremely complicated at the state level, depending on the Table 5 presents guidelines used to conduct a detailed rev- quality of the state's registration fee and related database. enue attribution process in Kentucky (Osborne et al. 2000). In TABLE 5 GUIDELINES FOR THE ALLOCATION OF HIGHWAY-USER REVENUE TO VEHICLE CLASSES IN KENTUCKY Element Vehicle Class Basis Fuel Tax Heavy vehicle surtax Trucks over 59,999 lb Revenue estimates from VMT, rates of fuel consumption, and tax rates Carrier surtax Trucks over 26,000 lb See above Normal use All See above Federal Excise Tax All See above Vehicle Registration & License Cars Cars 100% Buses Buses 100% Motorcycles Motorcycles 100% Trucks Trucks Revenue estimates from number of registered trucks and registration fees (with adjustments for farm, exempt, and 6,000-lb trucks) Apportioned trucks Trucks Number of ID cards Truck ID cards Trucks Number of ID cards Truck permits Trucks Number of ID cards Other All Vehicle-miles Miscellaneous All Vehicle-miles Operators License All Vehicle-miles Commercial Driver's License Trucks over 22,000 lb Vehicle-miles Usage Tax Buses Buses 100% Other vehicles All excluding buses As reported Federal trucks and trailers Trucks over 33,000 lb Vehicle-miles Road Tolls All Toll collection receipts Other Motor Carrier Taxes Weight distance Trucks over 59,999 lb Vehicle-miles Extended weight 80,000-lb trucks 100% Federal use Trucks over 54,999 lb Vehicle-miles Other Federal Taxes All Vehicle-miles