IT’S NOT JUST $5.00
The vehicle registration fee increase passed by the Clackamas County Commissioners is NOT ABOUT $5.00 and actually has very little to do with the Sellwood bridge. It does have everything to do with being able to raise your taxes (by fees) without a vote of the people and sets a new precedent of allowing a county to tax (fee) its’ citizens to pay for infrastructure designed, owned, and operated by another county.
In 2009, the then supermajority Democratic Legislature passed a large transportation bill (HB 2001) which allows:
- Counties with a population more than 350,000 (Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah) to adopt a county vehicle registration fee (VRF) without a voter approval
- Counties with less than 350,000 to adopt a county VRF only with voter approval
- After July 1, 2013, a county VRF can be increased to equal, but not exceed, the state VRF—currently $43.00 per year!!!
The five Clackamas County Commissioners, then all Democrats, passed Ordinance 06-2010 in December after significant public opposition. Before you vote, please consider:
- The Sellwood bridge will be built or repaired with or without Clackamas fees
- Clackamas County had no significant input into the design, location or cost for this bridge
- The bridge currently has two traffic lanes, the new design still has only two lanes and all the additional width is devoted to pedestrians and bikes
- The study that states that >70% of the traffic on the bridge is to/from Clackamas is over 10 years old and has been thoroughly debunked by the Oregonian
- There is no “sunset” or end date for this fee—even after the $22M has been taxed
- The Clackamas County Commissioners have publicly discussed, at many forums, increasing this fee and providing the required 40% to Clackamas cities for their transportation needs
The Clackamas County Republican Party is urging a NO vote on Measure 3-372.