Oregon Gas Tax Hikes Comes With ‘Transparency’ Website
Say what you will about Oregon's political climate, at least they're making an effort when it comes to how gas tax money is being spent.
The second of four planned gas tax increases will be going into effect January 1, 2020, a hike of $.02 cents per gallon. Similar hikes will occur in 2022, and 2024. However, Oregon legislators demanded terms before agreeing to sponsor and pass the legislation. According to Oregon Department of Transportation officials:
The gas tax increase was tied to ODOT completing two specific projects to help address congestion on I-205.
- I-205 Corridor Bottleneck ($15.5M). ODOT paved portions of I-205 and constructed new lanes between interchanges in the Sunnybrook and Johnson Creek areas to improve safety and reduce congestion.
- I-205 Active Traffic Management ($15.2M). ODOT installed signage giving motorists real-time information about travel times.
Road & Bridge Condition Reports
ODOT worked with Oregon cities and counties to produce a website detailing the condition of the major roads and all Oregon bridges. The site grades the major roads in and through communities as good, fair, or poor so people can see what they’re getting for their increased taxes.
ODOT also had to provide a list of shovel-ready projects that could be constructed with additional funds and report on the agency’s efforts to address congestion through a number of other important projects in the Portland metro region, including the (I-5 Rose Quarter project, new lanes on OR 217, widening of I-205 between Stafford Road and the Abernethy Bridge, and implementation of tolling.
This represents one of the few states where a widespread public effort has been made to show citizens where and how the money is being spent on road projects. Yes, the Washington State DOT has a list of public projects, but does not present comprehensive information like is required in Oregon. The data is also contained on the public website.
As of now, many such road projects are stalled while Gov. Inslee and other state officials try to find ways to 'punish' voters for passing $30 car tabs.