Portland mayor backs 10-cent gas tax


Charlie Hales says ‘a lousy 10 cents’ would help pay for street issues.

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Charlie Hales says a gas tax of ‘a lousy 10 cents’ would help pay for street issues in Portland.

Ted Wheeler, who is challenging Hales in 2016, had previously supported a gas tax.

A gas tax may be more politically viable than other financial options, especially considering the price of gasoline, according to information gathered by [Steve] Novick.

The commissioner asked Portland neighborhood coalitions to poll members on transportation-funding options. The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods received 102 responses, and the gas tax beat other options such as a street fee, income tax or miles-traveled charge. More than one-third of respondents listed the gas tax as their top option.

Novick said he’s “delighted” Hales is supportive. “I think that something is better than nothing,” Novick added, saying he doesn’t want to continue the past 30 years of “futility.”

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)

A 10-cent tax would raise an estimated $58 million.

Hales’ spokesperson, Dana Haynes, had previously said the mayor was not ready to back a tax a couple weeks ago, and that he is not doing an about-face now in an email to Willamette Week.

He didn’t reverse his position. That would have required him to oppose the gas tax proposal, and he did not. But he also didn’t commit to it either way. He went to the City Club meeting and watched the debate. He read the City Club report. And this morning he met with the Transpo Commissioner to talk about the proposal. Out of that meeting, the mayor announced his position. Which is to support Steve Novick on a gas tax.

(SOURCE: Willamette Week)

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