Oregon Senate panel passes road plan

| 6/27/2003

An Oregon Senate panel has approved a $2.5 billion financing plan for bridge and road repairs, the Statesman Journal reported.

The Senate Transportation and Economic Development Committee voted in favor of the finance package June 25. HB2041, which previously passed the House, is expected to go before the full Senate for a vote before July Fourth.

The transportation finance plan raises $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, Oregon House Speaker Karen Minnis said in a statement.

About $1.6 billion would go toward repairing or replacing 480 bridges on the state’s major highways. The rest of the money would go to cities, counties and the state for road projects.

Car title fees would increase from $30 to $55 starting Jan. 1. Registration fees would go from $30 to $54 every two years. Commercial truck registration fees would increase about 53 percent, and their weight-mile taxes would climb almost 10 percent.

Other features include a provision that would give truckers as much as $3 million a year in tax credits for buying cleaner engines. The credits would be funded from a transportation reinvestment pot filled by personal income taxes from jobs created by bridge work.