HR.679 - Road Usage Charge Pilot Program Act Of 2015

[congressional bills 114th congress]
[from the u.s. government printing office]
[h.r. 679 introduced in house (ih)]

114th congress
  1st session
                                h. r. 679

 to establish a road usage charge pilot program to study mileage-based 
                  fee systems, and for other purposes.


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                    in the house of representatives

                            february 3, 2015

mr. blumenauer introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
   committee on ways and means, and in addition to the committees on 
transportation and infrastructure and energy and commerce, for a period 
    to be subsequently determined by the speaker, in each case for 
consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the 
                          committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 a bill


 
 to establish a road usage charge pilot program to study mileage-based 
                  fee systems, and for other purposes.

    be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the 
united states of america in congress assembled,

section 1. short title.

    this act may be cited as the ``road usage charge pilot program act 
of 2015''.

sec. 2. findings.

    congress finds the following:
            (1) the 2009 report of the national surface transportation 
        infrastructure financing commission recommends a transition 
        away from the fuel tax to a more stable funding source, noting 
        that a mileage-based fee system is the consensus choice for 
        policy leaders.
            (2) the 2008 report of the national surface transportation 
        and revenue study commission recommends further study of the 
        implementation of mileage-based fee systems at the state level 
        and of their compatibility with a national revenue system, 
        noting that in the long run, a mileage-based fee system seems 
        the most likely and appropriate method to be implemented.
            (3) according to the congressional budget office, the 
        revenue raised from the gas tax since its last increase in 1993 
        has lost over one-third of its purchasing power due to 
        increasing fuel efficiency, changing transportation patterns, 
        and inflation.
            (4) by 2030, the corporate average fuel economy standards 
        will have reduced highway trust fund receipts by more than 20 
        percent.
            (5) the fuel tax revenue mechanism results in some 
        industries paying more than their commensurate road use.

sec. 3. road usage charge pilot program.

    (a) establishment.--the secretary of the treasury (in this act 
referred to as the ``secretary'') shall establish a competitive grant 
program to be known as the road usage charge pilot program (in this act 
referred to as the ``program'') to make grants to eligible entities 
to--
            (1) conduct pilot studies of methods for recording and 
        reporting the number of miles traveled by particular vehicles;
            (2) conduct pilot studies of payment, enforcement, and 
        privacy protection methods for mileage-based fee systems; and
            (3) implement mileage-based fee systems in jurisdictions 
        that have adopted a plan for such systems.
    (b) application required.--to be eligible for a grant under the 
program, an eligible entity shall submit to the secretary an 
application at such time, in such form, and containing such information 
and assurances as the secretary may require.
    (c) selection of pilot studies.--in awarding grants under the 
program, the secretary shall select pilot studies that, in combination, 
explore means to address the following concerns:
            (1) protection of personal privacy.
            (2) ease of public compliance.
            (3) level of public acceptance.
            (4) geographic and income equity.
            (5) integration with state and local transportation revenue 
        mechanisms.
            (6) administrative issues.
            (7) cost.
            (8) enforcement issues.
            (9) potential for fraud or evasion.
            (10) feasibility of implementation.
    (d) priority.--in awarding grants under the program, the secretary 
shall give priority to pilot studies that--
            (1) serve as a model for broad implementation of a mileage-
        based fee system;
            (2) address concerns of rural and urban user equity;
            (3) involve multistate projects;
            (4) have a high volume of enrolled vehicles;
            (5) integrate with state and local revenue systems;
            (6) integrate with local demand management plans;
            (7) integrate with other intelligent transportation system 
        technologies; and
            (8) test the proposed revenue collection system by 
        collecting and distributing revenue.
    (e) required minimum funds for planning organizations.--in awarding 
grants under the program, the secretary shall ensure that not less than 
10 percent of funds available under the program in a fiscal year are 
reserved for pilot studies carried out in conjunction with metropolitan 
planning organizations or regional transportation planning 
organizations.
    (f) cost sharing.--an eligible entity that receives a grant under 
this act shall provide funds, from non-federal sources, in an amount 
equal to 20 percent of the amount of grant funds provided to the entity 
to carry out the activities supported by the grant.

sec. 4. working group.

    (a) establishment.--the secretary, in consultation with the 
secretary of transportation, shall establish a working group that 
shall--
            (1) evaluate the technology platforms and standards used in 
        the program and develop national technology standards for a 
        road usage charge, as well as develop national privacy 
        standards for a road usage charge that balance the 
        effectiveness of revenue systems with user privacy;
            (2) evaluate the costs of collection and administration of 
        the methods studied in the program and the success of such 
        methods in achieving rural and urban user equity; and
            (3) evaluate the potential of the methods studied in the 
        program to manage demand and reduce the emission of greenhouse 
        gases.
    (b) membership.--the working group established under subsection (a) 
shall be comprised of no fewer than 10 members, including at least 1 
individual representing each of the following:
            (1) the telecommunications industry.
            (2) a highway user group.
            (3) the data security and privacy industry.
            (4) a privacy rights advocacy organization.
            (5) a state or regional transportation agency.
            (6) a national research and policymaking body.

sec. 5. reports.

    (a) interim report.--not later than 2 years after the date of the 
first disbursement of funds under a grant under the program, the 
secretary shall submit to congress an interim report describing the 
progress of the program, the progress of the working group established 
under section 4(a), and any data or results from the program.
    (b) final report.--not later than 4 years after the date of the 
first disbursement of funds under a grant under the program, the 
secretary shall submit to congress a final report containing data and 
results from the program, an analysis of the feasibility of each method 
studied to be used as a mileage-based fee system, and the evaluations 
done by the working group established under section 4(a).

sec. 6. definitions.

    in this act:
            (1) eligible entity.--the term ``eligible entity'' means 
        one or more of the following:
                    (a) a state government or political subdivision 
                thereof.
                    (b) a local government or political subdivision 
                thereof.
                    (c) a metropolitan planning organization.
                    (d) a regional transportation planning 
                organization.
                    (e) a tribal organization.
            (2) metropolitan planning organization.--the term 
        ``metropolitan planning organization'' has the meaning given 
        that term in section 134(b) of title 23, united states code.
            (3) regional transportation planning organization.--the 
        term ``regional transportation planning organization'' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 134(b) of title 23, united 
        states code.

sec. 7. authorization of appropriations.

    (a) grant program.--there is authorized to be appropriated 
$30,000,000 to carry out section 3, to remain available until expended.
    (b) working group and report.--there is authorized to be 
appropriated $2,500,000 to carry out section 4 and $2,500,000 to carry 
out section 5, to remain available until expended.
                                 
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