Vehicle registration fee supports road maintenance, safety
Ordinance 817, establishing a $30/year vehicle registration fee (VRF) to offset some of the maintenance funding shortfall and to improve transportation safety, was adopted in September 2016 by the Washington County Board of Commissioners.
The County VRF will be collected by the state Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV), in conjunction with state registration fees, starting July 1, 2018. The fee is $30 per year, or $2.50 per month, for most vehicle owners. The fee for motorcycles/mopeds is $17 per year. For more information, see Washington County Vehicle Registration Fee Amounts; Subject Vehicles; Exemptions.
The VRF will generate an estimated $13.5 million in revenue annually. This revenue is split 60/40 between the County ($8.1 million) and the cities within the County ($5.4 million) as required by state statute. All funds received by the County will be used for local maintenance to improve the safety and condition of County roads, bridges and culverts.
Projected 10-year average for cities:
Increasing needs, expenses
Washington County's road maintenance funding comes primarily from the state gas tax and vehicle fees and the County gas tax, which are not keeping pace with increasing maintenance costs. Fuel sales per registered vehicle have been declining, due to hybrid and electric cars, and fewer miles traveled per vehicle. At the same time, maintenance costs have increased significantly. For example, asphalt paving increased about 370 percent from 2004-2014, according to ODOT. Other examples:
- Bridge construction increased about 200 percent
- Chip seal emulsion increased about 120 percent
- Aggregate (base rock) increased about 50 percent
For more information on the VRF implementation, visit: KeepRoadsSafe.org.
Questions? Call 503-846-6128 or email.