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Commissioner Steve Novick

Official Website for Commissioner Steve Novick

Phone: 503-823-4682

fax: 503-823-4019

1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204

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View More Business Groups Opposed to Transportation Fee Begin Organizing

May 22, 2014 | Willamette Week-- Business groups—including associations of hotels, restaurants and convenience stores—will meet next week to begin planning opposition to the street fee Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick announced today.

Among the options available to opponents: Referring a fee passed by City Council to voters in November. The Oregon Petroleum Association stopped a similar fee proposed by then-Commissioner Sam Adams in 2008 by threatening to refer it. The Oregon Neighborhood Store Association was also involved in that fight.

Richard Kosesan, a lobbyist for the Oregon Neighborhood Store Association, which represents convenience stores, says his group is concerned about the pace at which Hales and Novick are moving.

"It feels like they are in a hurry, yet they say they won’t impose the fee until July 2015," Kosesan says. "There’s an inherent disconnect there. To push and push and say you aren’t going impose until next year."

The larger concerns for Portland's 500 to 600 convenience stores, Kosesan says, are cost and equity. The preliminary structure of the fee would charge homeowners a flat fee and charge businesses based on square footage and number of trips generated.

Convenience stores, of course, generate relatively little revenue per trip compared to department stores, appliance or car dealers.

"There's an inherent issue of equity," Kosesan says. "Are you comparing apples to READ FULL ARTICLE