Voters reject Measure 34-221--proposed countywide vehicle registration fee

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Sponsored by: Department of Land Use & Transportation

Rising road maintenance needs are projected absent a local funding solution

Washington County will continue prioritizing limited funding to address growing road maintenance needs, but road conditions are projected to decline following the defeat of Measure 34-221—a proposed countywide vehicle registration fee. The fee would have provided dedicated funding for maintaining roads throughout the county.

Road maintenance costs are escalating. Funding, derived primarily from the gas tax, has not kept pace as drivers switch to more fuel efficient vehicles and drive less. The county's annual road maintenance backlog is expected to double within the next ten years as road conditions steadily decline. Cities across the county also face growing deferred maintenance backlogs. As road maintenance is deferred, more expensive repairs will be needed.

"The voters have spoken," said Andy Duyck, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. "While the Board has the ability to adopt a vehicle registration fee without voter approval that is not our course of action. We will be monitoring our maintenance budget closely and will wait to see what happens in Salem next year."

"The vehicle registration fee was an attempt to institute a sustainable, long term local revenue source for ongoing routine road maintenance, which we currently don't have. Over time, the county will see a decline in the condition of our roads," noted Andrew Singelakis, the county's Director of Land Use &Transportation.

Singelakis added that the county prioritizes road maintenance work annually based on critical needs assessments and stakeholder input. It will also continue its efforts to cut costs and continually improve the efficiency of its road maintenance program.

More information:

Proposed vehicle registration fee: www.co.washington.or.us/VRF

Washington County's Annual Road Maintenance Plan: www.co.washington.or.us/LUT/Divisions/Operations/Programs/annual-maintenance-program.cfm

Transportation funding in Washington County: www.co.washington.or.us/LUT/TransportationFunding

 

Washington County is committed to planning, building and maintaining a great transportation system, ensuring the safety of all roadway users, and operating the county roadway system in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner.

 

Media Contact:

Stephen Roberts, Communications Coordinator
(503) 846-4963
stephen_roberts@co.washington.or.us