gas tax

Our opinion: Vote ‘yes’ on the gas tax

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 27th, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Sidewalk to nowhere-2

(Photos by Jonathan Maus and Michael Andersen for BikePortland)

Three years ago, before launching his long, awkward crusade to raise money for Portland streets, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick made a really good point.

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Amid talk of congestion relief, Salem Dems reboot transportation bill talks

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 18th, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Speaker of the Oregon House Tina Kotek

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The 2017 Oregon legislature hasn’t even been elected yet, but state House and Senate leaders are getting ready for another try at a transportation bill.

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, and House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-North Portland, told the Salem Statesman Journal that they’re planning another “bipartisan, bicameral legislative committee” to start negotiating a deal that would presumably include a statewide gas tax hike.

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Surprise! Gasoline sellers dominate funding of campaign to stop Portland gas tax

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 25th, 2016 at 12:15 pm

gas tax donors

Outside CalPortland’s rock yard on NW Front Avenue.
(Image: Google Street View)

If you want to understand the behind-the-scenes fundraising battle over a proposed 10-cent local gas tax in Portland, start on the 5000 block of Front Avenue in the Northwest Portland industrial area.

That’s where you’ll find two companies operating on adjacent lots: CalPortland, a pavement supplier whose local vice president gave $5,000 to the “yes” campaign, and McCall Oil and Chemical, a fuel and asphalt distributor that has given $1,800 this year to the PAC running the “no” campaign.

Donors to local campaigns are often driven by financial self-interest, but it doesn’t get much clearer than this.

Based on public records filed so far, a coalition of construction and development firms backing the four-year gas tax is easily outfundraising opponents, almost all of which are companies that sell gasoline.

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Low-income households drive much less than high-income households

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 25th, 2016 at 1:07 pm

miles driven

Source: 1995 National Household Travel Survey via Purdue University.

We’ve explored this issue various times over the years, but you often hear people claiming otherwise so let’s share the information in a new way.

It’s relevant as the city gets ready to vote on a 10-cent gas tax that would go toward slowing the crumbling of Portland’s streets and improving their safety.

Who pays gas taxes?

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‘Fix Our Streets’ gas tax campaign prepares to launch Wednesday

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 24th, 2016 at 12:20 pm

fix our streets

The new campaign logo.

After a long pause to gather its strategy and thoughts, Portland’s city council is expected to launch its latest plan Wednesday to raise money for the city’s streets.

The new concept, a public vote for a temporary local gas tax of 10 cents per gallon, comes endorsed by a 93-page report from the City Club of Portland and at least two mayoral candidates (Jules Bailey and Ted Wheeler) as the least bad way to slow the city’s deepening pavement problem while getting some high-priority safety improvements on the ground.

And in a new development, it looks as if some resources have been found for one of such a ballot issue’s biggest needs: an organized “yes” campaign.

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The case against using gas taxes for bike infrastructure

A J Zelada by on December 4th, 2015 at 4:09 pm

6175048141_311d91dda5_z

A gas station on W Burnside.
(Photo: C.M. Keiner)

Editor’s note: We’re highlighting this (lightly edited) BikePortlander post as a comment of the week. It’s a doozy, but it’s provocative. The author, A.J. Zelada, is a past contributor who has volunteered as a transportation advisor for Oregon and others.

Now that Black Friday came and went, I want you to rethink the gas-tax approach to boosting active transportation revenue.

I think the gas tax is a snake eating its own tail. It undermines the serious effort we need.

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