This update of the highway cost allocation study is the eighth in a recent series begun in the early 1980's by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Kentucky Transportation Center. The primary objectives were to determine the level of revenue contribution and cost responsibility for each class of highway user. The base year of the study is FY 97; the most recent time period for which revenue and cost data were available. Highway user or travel activity for calender year 1996 was the most recent available. A basic premise of the study was that only state maintained highways were of interest in recouping the costs expended to construct and maintain the system. In 1996, this system comprised 27,350 miles of the 73,170 miles of roads and streets in Kentucky, while accommodation 84 percent of all travel.

There were 17 highway user classes with which revenue contribution and cost responsibility were associated. Primary sources of revenue included fuel taxes, registration fees, usage taxes, tolls, and other motor carrier and federal taxes and fees. Primary expenditure categories included construction (subdivided into 6 categories), maintenance and traffic, administration, and enforcement. Construction was subdivided into planning and design; right of way; utility relocation; grade, drain and surfacing; resurfacing; bridges; and miscellaneous.

Results from the analysis indicate that cost responsibility is borne most heavily by cars and motorcycles with 45.74 percent; followed by heavy trucks with gross weights of 60,000 pounds or more at 26.22 percent. Pickups and other vehicles registered in the 6,000 pound category were responsible for 20.72 percent of the cost. The ratio of percentage revenue attributed to percentage cost allocated was also determined in the study. A ratio of one indicates that the revenue and cost percentages are in balance for a particular vehicle type. Cars (0.94), buses (0. 78) and heavy trucks (0.91) contribute less revenue than their cost responsibility dictates.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky or the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names and trade names is for identification purposes and is not to be considered an endorsement.