Automated enforcement systems that check motor carrier compliance with weight-distance tax regulations could recover up to $10.4 million annually from tax evaders in Kentucky.

University researchers explore data sharing applications for Kentucky Automated Truck Screening (KATS) systems.

Kentucky; United States

Summary Information

This paper estimates the potential benefits of remote enforcement of weight-distance tax regulations using data from camera-equipped Kentucky Automated Truck Screening (KATS) systems and PrePass weigh stations in Kentucky. The automated enforcement system links these data sources with administrative tax returns and Kentucky State Police citation data to check motor carrier compliance.


Datasets from numerous sources were combined to estimate the benefits of utilizing automatic screening systems to enforce compliance with the Kentucky Highway Use (KYU) tax, a weight-distance tax applicable to vehicles with a registered weight greater than 59,999 lbs.

Limiting the data to unique vehicle pass-throughs, there were 5,998,550 vehicle observations. The total monthly number of unique vehicle observations ranged from about 100,000 to 550,000 over the sample period from April 2014 through September 2015.

Four categories of potential tax-evaders used in the analysis included the following:
  • No Tax Return
  • Under-reported Mileage
  • Reported Zero Miles
  • No permit.
Taxable miles evaded were estimated by first associating an estimated mileage, as a function of weigh station location, with each vehicle observation. They were based on the minimum number of miles a truck would travel if it were going straight through Kentucky without any diversion from the main roadway where the weigh station was located, toward a destination in another state or jurisdiction.


The analysis showed that remote enforcement and identification of tax evaders could generate up to $10.4 million annually in revenue for Kentucky. Implementation of KATS weigh stations was estimated to increase monthly impounds by approximately $5,000 per station, or about 160 percent.

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Estimating Benefits of Automated Commercial Vehicle Enforcement

Author: Forlines, Grayson L.

Published By: TRB 2019 Annual Meeting

Source Date: 01/13/2019


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Benefit ID: 2019-01406