Metro plans to put a transportation funding measure on the 2020 ballot



Metro plans to put a transportation funding measure on the 2020 ballot

Last year, the regional government Metro began thinking about ways to tax Portlanders to pay for transportation upgrades.

Metro hired former Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick to suggest taxes and analyze how much each idea could generate. A report from April 20, 2018, not revealed publicly until now, outlines his ideas.

Novick had relevant expertise: He successfully championed a city gas tax on the Portland ballot in 2016 before losing a re-election bid the same year.

Metro successfully passed a $653 million housing bond in November 2018 and is looking for taxing mechanisms that will generate even more money without fatiguing voters. As the regional government moves ahead with plans for a 2020 ballot measure, which is expected to include funding for a rail line into Southwest Portland, it's clear there's significant support for new spending.

A poll conducted by Metro found voter support for $200 in additional taxes per household. If levied as a property tax, that figure would raise roughly $2.2 billion.

The Portland area's transportation needs are estimated at $47 billion over 25 years, and not all of them will be addressed in the 2020 measure.

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