County Board approves asking citizens to vote on gas tax on November ballot

From: Tim Heider, Public and Government Affairs, 503-742-5911


 Media and Interested Parties

In response to the continuing need for road maintenance funds in Clackamas County, on June 28 the Board of County Commissioners approved directing staff to start the necessary paperwork to place a gas tax measure on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The proposed gas tax would be six cents per gallon for seven years. The tax would be collected countywide, and the revenue would be split with cities in the county — 60 percent would go to the county and 40 percent would go to the cities.

The board has already reviewed a list of the specific maintenance and safety projects that would be accomplished with the funds generated.

Clackamas County is responsible for 1,400 miles of roads, and more than half of them are in fair-to-poor condition. Since the county is not allowed to pay for road maintenance with property tax revenue, and since road funding revenue has remained nearly static for more than 20 years, there is now a $265 million gap between the amount of road maintenance needed and available funds.

The county relies on three primary sources of revenue for road maintenance – state gas taxes, state heavy-weight mile taxes (from trucks) and state vehicle registration/title fees. State gas taxes have only increased once since 1993 and are not adjusted to inflation.

More information about road maintenance is available at For more information on commissioners' actions this morning, see the materials available on the county's policy session webpage.