Plan seeks funds to fix Oregon roads

| Friday, May 30, 2003

Truckers and other drivers would pay more under a plan unveiled May 28 to help pay for Oregon’s road and bridge repairs.

The transportation finance plan would raise $2.5 billion over 10 years, mostly from bonds repaid from higher vehicle registration and title fees, higher permit and license fees on drivers and higher weight-mile taxes on truckers, the Statesman Journal reported.

About two-thirds of the revenue would go toward repairing or replacing bridges on the state’s major highways. The rest of the money would go to cities, counties and the state for road projects.

Other features include a proposed credit against income taxes for purchases of new truck engines.

Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Mount Hood, told the newspaper the credit was a concession to truckdrivers facing higher weight-mile taxes as well as other fees.

“You and I pay our fees for cars, but truck operators are paying for this plan many times over,” Metsger, chairman of the Senate transportation panel, said. “We have to recognize the serious financial straits that our trucking industry is facing right now.”

The financing plan is contained in HB2041, HB2367 and HB2388. The House Transportation Committee is expected to continue consideration of the bills June 1.

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