Petitions started to repeal unpopular Clackamas car tax

by Tom Devanney

Clackamas County Commissioners passed a new Vehicle Tax of $5 per vehicle for the Sellwood bridge in December.  A bit odd, since the bridge is in Multnomah County, and Clackamas County vehicles rarely use it.  Some 70% of the traffic is Multnomah County.  But the devil is in the details.  This new Sellwood bridge will cost Clackamas taxpayers $22 million in new taxes.  Commissioners plan to use the money, not to build the bridge, but to fund more unpopular, wasteful projects.  Estimates now are that the Commissioners will, behind taxpayer’s backs, increase the tax to $40 per vehicle.

It so riled the populous of Clackamas, that on January 6th, 2011, they announced a referendum to overturn the tax. The petitions are available throughout the county – contact one of these people to get yours:

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Posted by at 11:45 | Posted in Uncategorized | 39 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • For additional background information on this effort, please visit

  • Jay

    Um, you’re wrong on that statistic. 70% of the traffic is CLACKAMAS County.

  • Jay

    Um, you’re wrong on that statistic. 70% of the traffic is CLACKAMAS County.

  • Jay

    Also, “populous” isn’t a noun. Morons.

    • Steve Plunk

      Here to make friends? Maybe spread goodwill? Calling names is not a good way to accomplish either.

    • Steve Plunk

      Here to make friends? Maybe spread goodwill? Calling names is not a good way to accomplish either.

      • Founding Fathers

        Oh, yes, name-calling never happens from the folks here. Never.

        • Steve Plunk

          FF, Are you attempting to excuse it in this case? Two wrongs don’t make a right unless you’re a partisan Democrat. You don’t have to condemn Jay’s rudeness but you certainly don’t need to justify it.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          What is it with liberals and the name calling thing? Why is it they seem to think its totally ok for them, but not for anyone else?

          Nationally we saw this last week with the dopey target map thing. Liberals were apoplectic, trying to equate it to murder and themselves as angels.

          Anyway, I doubt the irony of FF setting himself up on a high horse with this comment is missed by many regular readers here.

          • valley person

            Are you the same Rupert who calls me idiot, moron, jerk, etc…every other day? And are you a liberal?

  • Jay

    Also, “populous” isn’t a noun. Morons.

  • Dave Lister

    It’s time to recognize that the entire region depends on all the bridges in the region. We need some sort of regional authority for their maintenance and funding. Maybe they should all belong to ODOT. Just as long as we don’t give it to METRO. They’d plant grass on all of them and turn them into parks.

  • Bob Clark

    Had to laugh when local media hailed the reported savings of $41 million on the Sellwood Bridge replacement. Afterall, it isn’t really savings but mere scaling back of the purchase. Isn’t it magical how Portland cityhall and Multnomah County have their paid consultant CH2M Hill look for any savings that can be had from the Sellwood Bridge project, as the Adams and Cogen deal (this past summer) targeted any savings (upwards of $20 million for Portland cityhall’s maximum share) to be transferred to help fund the Portland (milwaukee) lightrail boondoggle? Not really. Obviously, the fix was in. Bleeding the Sellwood Bridge project of $40 million to fund light rail is not really savings, and shouldn’t be surprising…it’s really a form of local government graft.

    Bravo, AFP Clackamas. Kick them Metro flunkees and Portland cityhall lap dogs out of office.

  • Founding Fathers

    I live in Clackamas County, and $5 seems like a reasonable amount to pay so that an important route into Portland is replaced.

  • “Estimates now are that the Commissioners will, behind taxpayer’s backs, increase the tax to $40 per vehicle.”

    Love the way this kind of stuff get thrown into the mix. Whose estimates? Based upon what specific data? Or are those questions irrelevant to people predisposed to believe the preferred story line?

    Me? I’ve been lliving in Clackamas County (Sandy area) for about 30 years and have used the Sellwood Bridge maybe five or six times in that period, but I’m happy to pay the danged $5. The fact is that my house hasn’t caught on fire, nor do I have any children in the local school system, but I’m happy to support both the fire department and the school district because I recognize that we’re all in it together.

    • Steve Plunk

      Pat, You can be happy about paying the tax but that doesn’t mean others have to be. In most cases like this opposition is not about people not wanting to pay their fair share or avoid the long term social contract. It’s about proven government waste, abuse of power, crony capitalism, and an understanding that taxes do have an upper limit before they damage society.

      As for the estimate of what the tax could increase to I have note how often I read of government reports that use the terms as much as, as high as, as many as. Making people aware of possibilities is not a bad thing in itself and the warnings seem fair.

      • valley person

        I also live in Clackamas County, rarely use the Sellwood Bridge, and am fine with the 5 bucks. I’d be fine with $10. or $20 even. Can we find something more substantial to get worked up over?

        Clackamas County, in its infinite wisdom, has over the years managed to build zero bridges across the Willamette River, despite the fact that the County is split by the river. We may be the only County in the entire Valley without our own paid for bridge over the River W. We have become accustomed to using other people’s bridges for free. It about time we chipped something in other than complaints.

        • conservatively speaking

          Insurgency! Insurgency! Call vector control. VP has been bitten by a METROsquito from the swamplands of Multnomah County.

          Really, Calamitous County taxpayers have enough problems with trying to stave off other invasive METROcockroaches, e.g., blight rail, already!

    • OEA, our rants are off to you

      I still remember the cussing Sandy teachers. Sandy fire and police, OK, not the teachers and their organization.

  • Edwardhs

    It’s a special kind of Blue how Pat Ryan and Valley Person either blatantly lie becasue they think it it acceptable behavior. or they don’t even follow the issue and simply parrot the talking points of Lynn Adams Peterson.

    Pat, commissioners and various city council members bragged about raising the fee and keeping it in perpetuity to spread around and continue funding the agenda.

    So your version of it being nothing but as “story line” is dishonest.

    Obviously the objections are not about the “danged $5”

    You and VP either know it isn’t and lie, or are too stupid to grasp what is going on.

    Comparing the legitimate and supported use of tax dollars on schools and fire protection to this fee scheme is more unethical debating.

    And since the ultimate diverting of the fee to Milwaukie Light Rail and other similar misappropriations involves Urban Renewal schemes that divert millions form schools and public safety your Blue dishonesty has no limit.

    You Blues are all in the propaganda together aren’t you.

    VP says “can we find something more substantial to get worked up over” as he attempts to marginalize the dispute to over $5 bucks and not the real issue of the $1.5 Billion Milwaukie Light Rail and urban renewal scheme that come with it.

    Pat and VP are incapable of having a real discussion.

    Clackamas County has of course paid for part of the bridges in ODOT, fed and regional monies.

    The county is planning to build a bridge over the Willamette. A ped/bike/transit bridge in Wilsonville while other infrastructure gets deferred and neglected. Another example of gross misappropriation of resources.

    Potential Sellwood bridge funding has been directed to Milwaukie Light Rail with the raiding of $200 million in Metro flex funds that should go to the infrastructure that instead gets neglected for decades.

    Your Blind Blue support for every misspending in sight disqualifies you as having anything useful to discuss.

    Your only mission is to distort and prop up the status quo Metro/TriMet Adams/Peterson madness.

    • Pat Ryan

      Not quite sure hjow demanding documentation of bald assertions is construed as a “blatant lie”. It is clear, however that deflection and refusal to provide the documentation for assertions is your preferred method of argumentation.
      As for the rest of your jeremiad, try providing a link to back up your rants or they are indeed just manifestations of a belief system unsupported by anything at all except your preference for a specific dogma.

  • Jack Buckmeir


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