The objectives of the current cost allocation study, the fifth in a series begun in 1982, include the following: 1) to evaluate current cost allocation methodologies and identify possible changes to Kentucky practices; and 2) to determine the 1991 fiscal year levels of cost responsibility and revenue contribution for each of several classes of highway users. Additional objectives include an evaluation of the equity of tax proposals advanced by the Kentucky Motor Transport Association, a preliminary determination of the revenue and cost implications of the Extended-Weight Coal Haul System, and an evaluation of the efficiency with which certain highway user taxes have been collected.

As was the case in other recent cost-allocation studies, incremental cost assignment has been replaced with various highway use measures including vehicle-miles of travel, axle-miles, passenger-car-equivalent miles, and equivalent-single-axle-load miles.

Results from the analysis indicate that cost responsibility was borne most heavily by passenger cars and motorcycles (44.2 percent). Other cost responsibilities were 24.6 percent for heavy trucks; 20.4 percent for pickups and vans; and 10.8 for all other groups. When compared to revenue for each vehicle class; cars, pickups and vans, and heavy trucks exceeded their cost responsibility, while medium trucks fell significantly short. From a limited examination of the Extended-Weight Coal Haul System, it was found that an estimated $2 million are lost annually from the Road Fund because fewer trucks are registered. Heavier weights of coal-decal trucks add approximately $9 million annually to pavement overlay costs. Related to tax collection, it was found that the weight-distance tax was collected at an efficiency of about 70 percent and other user-reported fuel taxes in the range of 75 to 77 percent.

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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, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, or the Federal Highway Administration. 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.