Oregon road-repair bill heads for approval

| Wednesday, July 02, 2003

A multibillion-dollar plan to fix Oregon’s roads and bridges is headed for a final legislative vote in the state Senate, the Statesman Journal reported.

The Senate Revenue Committee voted 5-0 June 30 to send HB2041 before the full Senate later this week. If approved by 60 percent of the Senate, the transportation financing plan, which previously passed the House, would go before the governor for approval.

The finance package 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, Oregon House Speaker Karen Minnis said in a recent 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.

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

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.

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