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Transportation Bill re-emerges

August 22, 2016

nfib-logoBy NFIB,

Small businesses are weighing in on a big Oregon transportation project.

The Oregon Joint Interim Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization is currently touring the state to gain insight into the transportation needs of Oregon residents and local businesses.

Many small businesses and residents agree that Oregon’s transportation needs improvement, but few are sure exactly what projects should be funded and where the money to do so will come from. Ultimately, legislators would like to debate a comprehensive transportation package in the 2017 legislative session based on feedback from this tour.

“The tour is a fact-finding mission,” Eugene Weekly reported. “At this stage, the presiding officers are asking the committee to gauge need and support. The hope is the package will be large enough to meaningfully address the needs that are out there but also be within Oregonians’ comfort level.”

Legislators and community members are discussing an increase in the state’s gas tax as one possible funding source for the project. But some are not pleased with this solution.

“The Oregon Department of Transportation] is too opaque and has skimmed by on too many boondoggles for Oregonians to be excited about a blanket gas tax increase,” said Rob Zako, executive director of the nonprofit Better Eugene-Springfield Transit.

The committee’s tour concludes in mid-September, at which point they will begin putting together a proposal for the project.

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