How much money will Measure 26-173 raise?
We estimate that Measure 26-173 will raise $64 million over four years. The Portland City Council also passed a heavy-vehicle use tax which will raise an additional $10 million over the same time. These funds will be used as part of the Fixing Our Streets Program to fund key projects to repair and enhance the safety of Portland’s streets.
Who will collect the Measure 26-173 funds?
As passed by the voters, Measure 26-173 authorized the City of Portland to collect a 10 cent motor fuels tax. It will be collected from fuel dealers based on their sales to gas stations in the city limits. This will also include diesel sold to light-vehicles such as sedans or small trucks.
Do large trucks that carry freight have to pay?
In Oregon, heavy trucks don’t pay gas taxes, they pay a weight-mile tax that is based on their mileage in the state. To make sure that local transportation funding is collected in a way that accounts for freight as well as residential use of the transportation system, the City Council passed a heavy vehicle use tax on May 11, 2016. The heavy vehicle use tax that charges companies based on a percentage of the state weight-mile tax they pay. It is only charged to companies who pay the state weight-mile tax and also have a license to do business in Portland.
How will the money be spent?
Fixing Our Streets Program funds can only be used to pay for basic transportation safety and maintenance needs. The ordinance that placed the measure before the voters includes language requiring 56 percent of the funds to be invested in street maintenance and 44 percent on safety improvements. The City Council ordinance included a project list that shows specific projects that are intended to be funded. The list of projects can be found here.
I know a street that has a lot of potholes. Can you go fix that street with this money? I know a street that has a lot of unsafe crossings and lacks sidewalks. Can you go fix that street with this money?
Measure 26-173 funds are a down payment on the future of our transportation system and they will help Portland address some of its critical street maintenance and safety needs. But the funds are not enough to address all of the City’s maintenance and safety needs. According to the ordinance that put Measure 26-173 on the ballot, those projects listed in the ordinance must be given priority.
How can we be sure this will be spent as you told the voters you would spend it?
The ordinance established a citizen oversight committee that will monitor the program and ensure that the funds are being used as the voters intended. As an additional level of oversight, all the projects will be included in the regular City budget process.
How does this affect the Back to Basics program?
The Fixing Our Streets funding will add to the city’s pre-existing maintenance work. In 2013, Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick directed PBOT to pursue a goal of providing preventive maintenance on 100 miles of city streets each fiscal year. This is triple the amount of maintenance the city had funded in recent prior years.