Lane County in multiple tax tussle
By Suzanne Penegor & Gienie Assink
Lane County finds itself in budgeting hot water as its costs continue to exceed tax revenues every year–thanks mostly to a lockup of O&C Lands, anti-business atmosphere of county administrators, and costly PERS in general. Some taxpayers have suggested reducing the number of Lane Co. commissioners from 5 to 3 in order to save on county expenses.
Eugene city officials are bracing for a legal onslaught regarding the number of signatures required to put a local gas tax on the ballot. Eugene already has the highest gas tax in the state. Recently City Council members enacted another increase without sending it to the voters for approval.
Local gas station companies created an initiative petition drive to get the gas tax on the ballot in order to hold these “leaders” accountable to taxpayers and taxpayer money. Shortly after the petitions were submitted, city officials rejected them stating there weren’t enough valid signatures to put the issue to a vote. Station owners are requesting a court hearing to overturn the city’s bullied decision so that voters will have a chance to decide the issue.