Due to growing interstate commerce, Oregon taxes on commercial trucking rose more than 30% between 2002 and 2005, nearly reaching $250 million annually. While the state collects no fuel taxes from truckers, its weight-distance tax is hefty enough that the American Trucking Association (ATA) ranks it No. 1 in state highway user taxes. A typical “five-axle tractor-semi-trailer combination” weighing 80,000 pounds would pay $11,037 annually here compared to $5,607 in Washington and $6,481 in California. Only 4.1% of U.S. interstate motor carriers — an industry dominated by small companies — are based in the Pacific Northwest, but for-hire truck drivers account for 1.3% of Oregon’s private workforce, slightly higher than the U.S. average. A 2005 report by research firm Global Insight found that long-haul trucking was short 20,000 drivers in 2004, and forecast even greater shortages in years to come. U.S. revenue-per-mile, as indexed by the ATA, has increased steadily over the last 10 years with a big 9% increase in 2004, yet it has not kept pace with general inflation.
|Trucking jobs in selected states, 2003|
|For-hire trucking employees||% of total private employment|
Source: ATA, American Trucking Trends 2005-2006