Annual refunds for out-of-state and non-public road miles

Annual refunds for out-of-state and non-public road miles

April 28, 2016

Miles you drive outside Oregon and on non-public roads do not apply to your road usage charge obligation. If you already paid road usage charge for those miles, you are eligible for a refund from ODOT. This is true for volunteers who drive outside Oregon using devices that are not GPS-enabled as well as for volunteers who drive on non-public roads regardless of device type.

The only things you need to track are the date of each trip, the starting and ending odometer readings per trip, and the type of trip (out-of-state or non-public.) You can request the required form by contacting the OReGO team.

Requests for refunds for non-public road miles are considered on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, however, a road is considered non-public if the general public can’t access it on a regular basis AND maintenance of that road is not supported by any public/government funds.

The OReGO team processes refunds for out-of-state and non-public road miles annually each January. The two primary reasons behind the decision to refund annually are cost and privacy.

Cost:

Annual refunds help to minimize the financial impact of administering road usage charge refunds. When ODOT issues a check/payment, ODOT’s processes require that multiple employees perform certain steps. The standard payment process includes multiple checks and balances to ensure security of State funds. Once ODOT issues an actual check, the State treasury moves the funds to/from the correct accounts and generates the check. Materials and postage costs then come into play.

The bottom line is that each point of contact, human and automated, has an associated cost. While each of these costs is small on its own, when you add them together, the total cost to issue a check is often higher than the amount of the check. This would certainly be true for the vast majority of volunteers’ out-of-state and non-public road refunds if they were issued more frequently than annually. ODOT is committed to using Oregon taxpayers’ dollars responsibly.

Privacy:

Currently, if a person receives more than one payment per year from ODOT, ODOT sets the individual up as a vendor in the accounting system, which requires your tax ID number (TIN). For most individuals, the TIN is the person’s Social Security Number. OReGO staff avoid collecting TINs from volunteers due to the sensitive nature of transferring and storing personally identifiable information. OReGO is committed to honoring our volunteers’ privacy.

Questions:

If you have further questions about road usage charge refunds, please contact us at MyOReGO@odot.state.or.us or 503-986-7827.

2 thoughts on “Annual refunds for out-of-state and non-public road miles

  1. Most of my driving is on city streets that are not maintained by ODOT but by my city which has a municipal gas tax. If I were to sign up for this program would I qualify for a refund for the miles I travel on my city streets? Otherwise it doesn’t seem quite fair.

  2. Michelle Godfrey
    Michelle Godfrey says:

    Hi Tom! Thanks for posting.

    Road usage charge revenue is processed just like fuels tax revenue, meaning a portion of the funding is distributed to cities and counties for transportation system maintenance. You can learn more about that distribution here: https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/CS/FS/pages/hwy_rev.aspx#Revenue___Apportionment

    If you volunteer with OReGO, miles you drive on privately maintained roads (not maintained by any government agency) that aren’t accessible to the general public are eligible for a road usage charge refund. This means that miles driven on roads that are maintained by cities and counties aren’t eligible for the refund.

    If you have more detailed or specific questions, you can always feel free to write to us at MyOReGO@odot.state.or.us for a more personal reply. Let us know how we can assist you!

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