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Portland Business Alliance announces endorsement for gas tax initiative

Board of directors votes to support proposal spearheaded by Commissioner Steve Novick


The Portland Business Alliance today announced its endorsement for the city of Portland’s 2016 local gas tax that has been referred to voters for the May 2016 election. The referral would establish a four-year, 10-cent per gallon tax on gasoline with a plan to raise $58 million over four years to cover street safety and maintenance projects.

“The Alliance has consistently supported a well-maintained and safe transportation system, and we know that additional revenue will help address the current backlog of deferred paving maintenance,” said Mitch Hornecker, chair of the Portland Business Alliance board of directors. “We were disappointed that the discussions around a street fee became unnecessarily contentious in 2014 and 2015, and we want to commend Commissioner Novick for persisting on this issue and undertaking a collaborative discussion that resulted in a transportation-funding proposal that can be broadly supported.

“A voter-approved gas tax with a sunset date meets many of the principles the Alliance originally developed at the start of the street fee discussion in 2014.  A gas tax is user-based;  has low administrative overhead; requires voter approval; may not be diverted to other uses per the Oregon constitution, and will not inflate annually.”   
   
Alliance ballot measure endorsements are voted on by the full board. Two-thirds of the board members present must agree before an endorsement is made.