House Democrats Seek Gas Tax Hike

HB 2653 Automatically Raises the Gas Tax Every Five Years

SALEM”” As Oregon’s gas prices reach $3.50 per gallon, House Democrats are proposing a gas tax increase to make drivers feel more pain at the pump. They’ve advanced HB 2653, a bill to raise the gas tax by five cents and to increase mileage tax rates on truckers. In addition, the bill automatically increases the gas tax every five years, without consideration to gas prices at the time.

“Oregon’s average gas price is the third highest in the nation,” said House Republican Leader Wayne Scott (R-Canby). “Now Democrats want working families and small businesses to pay even more. We don’t need higher fuel taxes to slow our economy and jeopardize jobs.”Over the next two years, Oregonians are projected to spend over $880 million in fuel taxes and over $500 million in weight-mile taxes. Oregon already ranks among the top third of states with the highest gas taxes. During the 2007 session, Democrats have also proposed a 44 percent increase in vehicle registration fees.

“The Democrats want to raise the gas tax at the same time they’re proposing to increase the Department of Transportation budget by 23 percent, with millions of dollars in pork for non-highway projects,” Rep. Scott said. “Before asking Oregonians to pay higher gas prices, we need to better utilize existing funds by prioritizing our spending and identifying efficiencies within Oregon’s massive transportation bureaucracy.”

Rep. Scott said he’s also concerned about further raising weight-mile tax rates on truckers. The tax rate was raised nearly five percent in 2003, and truckers subsidize almost 12 percent of ODOT’s budget. This session, truckers also face dozens of new regulations and mandates.

“Raising taxes on truckers will only serve to increase the costs of everyday items, such as groceries or clothing,” Rep. Scott said. “HB 2653 is actually a double-tax increase on working families, because they’ll have to pay the added transportation costs through higher prices at the market.”

HB 2653 has been reported out by the House Transportation Committee, and will be heard by the Democratic majority Friday in the House Revenue Committee.

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Posted by at 07:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 652 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    Tax us and tax us good.
    We deserve it – for putting you losers in office.

  • Anonymous

    I like the way they say on one hand,they want it to be illegal for businesses to raise proces in times of hardship,but it’s ok for the state to raise taxes on those prices in times of hardship, referring to the current very high gas prices. These guys are nuts,but you’re right we’re getting whata we ask for. But it wasn’t by my vote.

  • r huse

    Absolutely unreal – how out of touch do you have to be to think that raising gas taxes now, especially automatically, is a good idea?

    Is anything more inane than the tendency for Oregon government at all levels to spend most of their time thinking of endless new and clever tax increases?

    I for one would support a bill to immediately double all of their salaries if they would just go home and play golf. Anything is better than the current situation of the citizenry being on this endless treadmill of having to keep them from going ever deeper into our pockets.

  • CRAWDUDE

    We put them in power, what can we do now? I didn’t vote for them but the rest of the Oregon voters wanted their policies, I’ll take what’s coming I guess.

    • gene cunningham

      what we need to do is recall every one from the gov. down and get a new batch of sobs and get rid of the old sobs

  • Jerry

    I hope they don’t forget to tax the hybrid vehicle people more, as they don’t pay their fair share of taxes because they don’t buy enough gas.
    For these fool politicos a Hummer owner is a hero – more money!
    These people are losers.
    And clueless.
    And hapless.
    And luckless.

    • CRAWDUDE

      Hey, that didn’t rhyme! 😉

  • taoiseach

    First of all, it’s not ‘Democrats’ proposing the increase, but rather a ‘Democrat’–Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland). It’s his bill and I doubt that he presumes to speak on behalf of his caucus with every single bill he files.

    Secondly, we absolutely need to discuss ways to improve transportation in this state, especially for motor vehicles. That means funding projects to reduce congestion and providing resources to sustain a schedule of maintenance for our roads. The fuel excise tax has not been raised since 1993–when one gallon of gasoline cost under $1.50. The growth in Oregon and the consequent demand it places on our roads demands a greater source of funding, which can be directly tied to automobiles through gas taxes or registration fees.

    We are at least $1 billion away from even completing the basic level of maintenance on our roads; an increase in the gas tax to maintain the current roads would be much more cost efficient than the cost of dilapidated and eventually unusable roads.

    • CRAWDUDE

      If you are saying we need to improve roads, I agree! Quit funding the lite rail waste and put that money to road repair……….funding problem solved, without a tax. Amazing!

      • Captain_Anon

        The funding of the light rail is not all general funds that could be diverted to road maintenance or improvement. they get more bang for thier buck (in my opinion) with light rail. the feds contribute a substantial amount to the light rail projects that would be LOST if it wasn’t earmarked for the rail. money from TOD’s and (gasp) TIF also fund light rail that if not directed to the max, would also be lost. they wouldn’t go to the roads in the first place. it’s all about how the budgets work. i’d be interested to know the hard numbers of how much money COULD be diverted from light rail to road maintenance. would it be 50% of the max funding? 25%? 75%?

  • Jerry

    Dear taoiseach – if you are so sure that ODOT needs more money why don’t you send them some??

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