May 28, 2014 | Portland Transport-- Tomorrow I’ll be testifying at City Council in favor of the “Transportation User Fee”.
I’ve seen a lot of buzz in the last day or two that this fee is unfair because it charges all households the same fee, and gives no credit for reducing auto-dependence. Some have even said it perpetuates an auto-dependent system.
In other forums, a preference has been expressed for increasing fuel taxes instead.
I strongly disagree with those perspectives.
But first, let’s deal with the valid criticism that’s also being widely discussed. This fee is regressive. That’s absolutely true. I’d much prefer a progressive, income-based tax for this purpose. Commissioner Novick has indicated the same preference. But it’s a political non-starter. And to their credit, the Mayor and the Commissioner have created a break for lower-income households, making this less regressive. I hope they’ll do more, and I will testify to that tomorrow.
Despite its regressiveness, I think this is a clear win for active transportation. Here’s why:
We desperately need the revenue, and it’s not going to come from a fuel tax
First, the gas tax is not going to solve the problem. The Portland Plan READ FULL ARTICLE