Capitol eyes gas tax — yet we’re 17th highest!

WatchdogCapitol eyes new gas tax. — yet we’re 17th highest
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Among the biggest rumors in the first week of the 2015 Legislative Session has been the call for a new gas tax.   The reason is that since prices have fallen people wouldn’t notice a giant gas tax increase.   Others say that the gas tax Oregonians are paying is just not paying enough to fund road projects.   According to the Tax Foundation Oregon ranks #17 for the nation’s highest state gas taxes.   So we are paying more than most states and apparently getting less.   A gas tax was just approved by lawmakers a few years ago, and now it looks like they are back for more.  Portland Congressman Earl Blumenauer is trying to jack up the federal gas tax at the same time.   This means Oregon could witness a double gas tax increase in hopes that no one will notice.

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Posted by at 10:26 | Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • HBguy

    And yet according to the US Census bureau, Oregon is #47 in total sales tax (includes sales, fuel and alcohol taxation) Because obviously, Oregon has no general sales tax.

    Question. If Oregon is high in one type of taxation, but low in another, should you decrease one and increase the other so we are average in everything? Or should we be the lowest in all types of taxes?

    To argue we shouldn’t increase a tax just because it’s already higher than average opens the door to the argument that we should increase taxes where Oregon is assessing a less than average amount. That would be…general sales tax obviously.

    • havetoask

      What a specious rebuttal. Might I suggest a review of total Oregon taxes and per capita income compared to the rest of the USA ? Oregon | Tax Foundation..I humbly suggest a review of where the current funds are going before adding to the largesse. And would it not seem reasonable that with a decrease in the cost of gas the average user might use more thereby increasing the revenue associated with gas tax.

      • HBguy

        Yeah, but the article simply said we shouldn’t increase gas tax because it was already higher than average. I was trying to indicate that you needed to look at this more holistically, like I think you also believe, before you get hoisted on your own petard with such a narrow argument.

        • havetoask

          I would suggest we are on the same page. I apologize for missing your point. Thanks for the clarification…all the legislature wants is more money….we need some serious control but I have no idea from where it will come .

      • DavidAppell

        Sure — there is lots of data out there about Oregon taxes per capita. Have you bothered to look it up?

  • Liberty-or-Death

    And yet the Liberals Demonize the oil industry for glutinous profits while drooling over increasing the Oregon Gas tax, why? Because prices are down, why not? Gas taxes are more than double that of Company profits on each gallon of gas…. So who is really profiting and who is really greedy, who uses any excuse to up their take on each gallon sold? And finally, who pays and never seems to catch a break from political exploitation?

    • DavidAppell

      Because higher taxes on fossil fuels means people will use less of them, helping to mitigate global warming.

      • Liberty-or-Death

        Hi David – See you are still drinking the Kool Aid. Nah David, Has nothing to do with global warming, it is just another opportunity to stick it to the taxpayer yet again. Democrats cannot stand to see an opportunity of more money coming into the government coffers slip by without exploitation.

  • NAFTA Refugee

    Tell these greedy bastards to stop!!!!

  • David Johnson

    Should Oregon raise their gas tax knowing that the price of gas will go way up in the not to distant future?
    Salem would probably say, well, we would lower our tax if the price goes way up …….. yeah, right.

  • David from Mill City

    We should try an entirely different approach, develop a plan/maintenance schedule that would properly maintain our existing street, road and highway system, figure out how much that would cost to implement and then develop a tax scheme that collects that amount of money. The plan would need to include the repair of storm and land slide damage as well as the cost of dealing with ice and snow. Capacity increasing projects would not be included, but the costing of any capacity increasing project would include an estimate of the annual maintenance costs.

    Because parts of the system have not been properly maintained an additional plan/ repair schedule and cost estimate would be needed so a limited time surcharge be assessed to bring those streets roads and bridges up to snuff.

  • CherryAnn1000

    I have written to my legislators on this issue, and I advise all of you to do the same. If the fed raises the gas tax (and they are indicating they might), and then we get raised again by the state, gas will, once again, be unaffordable. It is long past time to rein in the legislature and hold them accountable as to where our money is spent, and increasing the tax is NOT the answer.

    • DavidAppell

      Gas wasn’t “unaffordable” at $4/gal. Why would it be unafforable at $2.25/gal + $0.75/gal taxes?

  • fred291

    By my calculations, Oregon’s gas tax ($.30 per gallon, non commercial vehicles, increased from $.24 in 2009) is 14th or 15th highest in the country (not 17th). That’s actually great. The US as a whole is running way behind on highway maintenance and investment. As is the case with most aspects of Oregon’s tax system, we’re are a lot better off than most places, with respect to deferred maintenance and investment. The civil engineers association ranks our state highway and bridge maintenance and replacement between fifth and tenth best in the country. That is the case despite the fact that we rely far less on other fees (like vehicle registration fees) than do most states to finance highways (we also rely far less than most states on municipal and county level gas taxes). Indeed, most experts (including those in the state DOT) believe that the highway trust fund will continue to meet the state’s needs through 2017. But the trust fund also serves the needs of cities and counties (50% goes to the state, 30% to counties, and 20% to cities) and their needs are pressing. Moreover, many believe that the state currently relies excessively on debt to finance new construction and would like to shift toward current funding, which requires more cash now. Not keeping up with our needs in this area is simply penny-wise and pound foolish.

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