Oregon governor signs transportation package

| Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed into law Monday a major highway and bridge repair initiative that authorizes a tax credit for truckers.

The $2.5 billion transportation-funding plan eliminates an estimated $4 million gap in the 2003-2005 budget, The Oregonian reported.

HB2041 allows truckers to claim a tax credit in 2005 for buying cleaner engines. Truckers would be reimbursed from $400 to $925 for each engine bought in calendar years 2004 through 2007. The credit would be limited to $3 million each year.

Most of the $2.5 billion the plan is expected to raise over 10 years comes from bonds repaid from higher vehicle registration and title fees, higher permit and license fees on drivers and higher weight-mile taxes on truckers.

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

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

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