A committee of community residents representing all areas of Clackamas County will be established to advise transportation staff and report to the Board of County Commissioners on using revenue from a new countywide vehicle registration fee (VRF) approved Feb. 21.
The $30 per year VRF was approved by the County Board after decades of discussion about the need for transportation funds, as well as extensive public outreach in 2018, conversations with cities and the business community, and two public hearings. The ordinance establishing the VRF will go into effect in 90 days, but collection is not likely to begin until winter 2019-20.
Director of Transportation & Development Dan Johnson said, “We’re really excited about the chance to work closely with community members to identify and prioritize needed capital projects in unincorporated areas throughout the county.” Details about the committee will be available soon.
By state law, 40 percent of the VRF revenue will go to cities in the county. Of the remaining 60 percent, which normally would all go to the county, 10 percent will be allocated to a strategic investment fund for county and city multi-jurisdictional projects, and the remaining 50 percent will go to the county for its 1,400 miles of roads.
The county will spend its portion of the funds – about $5.5 million per year – as follows:
- $500,000 – safety improvements
- $1 million – maintenance of local roads (generally those roads that people drive on from their home to a more major road)
- $3.5-4 million – capital construction to provide congestion relief
The VRF will apply to cars, pick-up trucks, vans and other passenger vehicles registered in Clackamas County. The fee for motorcycles will be $15 per year.
In accordance with state law, vehicles exempt from the fee include: registered farm vehicles; travel trailers, campers and motor homes; heavy trucks (which pay state weight-mile taxes); snowmobiles and Class I all-terrain vehicles; fixed-load vehicles; vehicles registered to disabled veterans or former prisoners of war; vehicles registered as antique vehicles or as vehicles of special interest, and government-owned or operated vehicles.
More information about the VRF is online at www.clackamas.us/transportation/vrf.
Contact: Mike Bezner, Assistant Director for Transportation