That electric car could save you a lot of money at the pump. But when you buy less gas, you also pay less in gas taxes, which help pay for road repair.

“As we have more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road, less and less funding to maintain roads, and it just spells disaster, ultimately, for our transportation system,” said Michelle Godfrey with the Oregon Department of Transportation, “So, we have to find an alternative.”

The alternative, Godfrey said, is a pilot program starting next year, where 5,000 volunteers can pay their road repair taxes per mile, rather than per gallon of gas.

“This is what the legislature kind of landed on, after 12 years of research,” she said. “You pay for what you use. So, the number of miles you drive is really the best gauge of the impact that you’re having on the roads and how much you are contributing to deterioration.”

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