This highway cost and revenue allocation study is the fourth of a recent Kentucky series begun in 1982. Experience gained with each study has resulted in subsequent refinements that have enlarged the data base, enhanced the accuracy, and simplified the study process. One of the long-term aims is to develop an easy-to-use process for continuously monitoring effects of changes in traffic patterns, in finance and tax policy, and in highway expenditures.

The primary objective of the current study was to determine the 1989 levels of revenue contribution and cost responsibility for each of several classes of Kentucky highway users. As was the case in the two most recent prior 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.

The analysis indicates that cost responsibility is borne most heavily by passenger cars and motorcycles (45.7 percent). Heavy trucks, those with gross weights of 60,000 pounds or more, were responsible for 23.2 percent of the cost. Pickups and other vehicles registered in the 6,000-pound category were responsible for 20.2 percent of the cost. Cost responsibility of all other user groups totaled 10.9 percent.

Revenue collected from passenger cars and motorcycles fell approximately 2 percent short of their cost responsibility: heavy trucks contributed approximately 12 percent more than their responsibility. Without a temporary surcharge of 1.15 cents per mile on heavy truck operations, the revenue and cost responsibility would have been very nearly balanced for cars and light trucks, pickups and heavy trucks would have contributed slightly more revenue than their cost responsibilities, and medium trucks would have failed to meet their responsibility.

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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.