SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon legislators and the public got their first look at a proposed 10-year, $8.2 billion transportation infrastructure spending bill Wednesday night.
As expected, the 298-page bill would impose higher gas taxes, increased vehicle title and registration fees, tolls on portions of Interstate 5, and a payroll tax to fund public transit.
It also contained a few surprises:
Large cities would have to salt at least 25 percent of their roads if more than 2 inches of snow falls over a 12-hour period.
And a proposed tax on new car sales also would apply to used cars.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on the bill at hearings June 5, 6 and 7.
Lawmakers asked staff to compile a summary of the weighty bill’s provisions, as well as an index, ahead of the hearings.
“You hand even a reporter, or anybody this, and they’re going to freak out,” Sen. Rod Monroe, D-Portland, said at a meeting of the Joint Committee on Transportation and Modernization.
Among the provisions:
- The current 30 cent per gallon state fuel tax would increase by 6 cents next year, and another 2 cents every other year through 2026.
- For 2018-19, registration fees would increase by $15, or $100 for electric vehicles. For 2020-21, an additional fee would be levied based on a vehicle’s mileage: $15 for vehicles getting 0-19 miles per hour; $25 for those at 20-49 mph; $35 for those getting more than 40 mpg; and $105 for electric vehicles. Those tiered fees each would increase by $5 every two years through 2025.
- A 0.75 percent excise tax on dealer vehicle sales would begin next year. That’s down from the 1 percent originally proposed.
- A statewide employee payroll tax of 0.1 percent would take effect next year. It would cost a minimum wage worker about $20 per year, or a worker with an annual salary of about $50,000 about $50 per year.
- A 3 percent tax on sales of new, adult bicycles costing $500 or more would begin next year.
The committee has been working for a year to gather public input and put together a bill. It follows a failed attempt to pass a transportation infrastructure funding package during the 2015 legislative session.
The proposal would bring in an estimated $509.1 million next year, increasing gradually to $1.1 billion in 2027.
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