As things move forward in the Transportation Conference Committee on HF2887/SF3157, a delivery fee is again in the crosshairs. Because it is a flat fee, it will impact large and small operations differently. During the debate, testimony was offered by J.J. Haywood, the CEO of Pizza Luce, who noted an average of 42% of its weekly revenue was from deliveries, which amounted to $25 or less. This translates into a 3% cost.
The target of the fee seems to be ride-sharing services i.e. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, and package delivery services FedEx, UPS, and Amazon. Again, we will reiterate, each of these commercial delivery services are all utilizing GPS for speed of delivery, and if the fee were to be applied as a mileage fee it can be calculated into the bill and more reasonably applied. In this fashion, a short-haul within a 10-mile radius, which is often a pizza delivery area would be more fairly treated, compared to a delivery service which, clearly puts in far greater road miles in the fulfillment of its function.
Legislators who want a simpler solution should look to a mileage fee, which can start out small up to $.05/mile, and then can easily increase it by a penny each time they need more money in the transportation system.
As our state moves to more electrical vehicles, increased reliance on the gasoline tax is a dinosaur approach and commercial use of our roadways should be accounted for in a reasonable fashion. The main point is this is a user fee, and the companies will pass it through to their consumers.