One of the great challenges for each state is to properly distribute the burden of keeping up and improving transportation. Whether freighting goods, services, or simply improving personal travel, transportation is the lifeblood of every economy. However, it is a challenge to maintain, and states are continuously attempting to improve their ability to do so.
That was the objective of Oregon’s recent law, which funds the state’s roads and projects for ten years at a cost of $5.3 billion. The goal of the package is to more evenly spread transportation costs across the board, with those using more, paying more. The new law is not without its critics, but the overall response from the transportation industry and others sectors has been positive.
What the Bill Includes
There are several overall goals with this new bill, that aim to improve transportation in Oregon overall. Some of the biggest goals include reducing congestion on the roads, improving existing transportation infrastructure, and adding alternate transportation options across the state. And the money used to improve and sustain must come from somewhere.
The taxes used to improve transportation across the state will include:
- A 4-cent increase of the already 30-cent gas tax next year:
- A 2-cent increase every other year through 2024;
- A total increase of 10 cents per gallon by 2024.
These taxes will be paid by those who use more fuel, and as a result the people, companies, and organizations which use the road more will pay for
An increase of taxes is not the only way the bill seeks to raise funds. There will be additional increases to fees, including:
- An increase in the weight-mile tax rate, 25 percent in 2018, 10.2 percent in 2020, and 6 percent in 2024;
- An increase in vehicle registration fees based on fuel mileage;
- An excise tax of vehicles of 0.5 percent, and flat fee of $15 for bicycles over $200;
- A statewide increase of the payroll tax of .01 percent.
As you can see, nearly every section of the state will be impacted in one way or another by this bill, and the cost of funding Oregon’s transportation infrastructure will be spread across the board.
Transportation Changing Daily
This bill is emblematic of the transportation climate in general. There are changes everyday affecting every aspect of the transportation industry. Whether the changes are technological, legal, regulatory, or social, each one will have an impact on how your company does business, and you should be prepared to confront those changes. Some of those changes make a bigger difference than others, because they can easily threaten the livelihood of your company and bottom line. That is why being prepared, informed, and up to date is so important.
At Anderson and Yamada we have decades of experience counseling, representing, and otherwise guiding transportation industries in Oregon, Washington, and California. We help trucking, freight, rail, and every other kind of transportation operation with all of their legal needs, and we look forward to serving you. Contact us today.