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Washington County commissioners ponder vehicle registration fee

Public can weigh in on $30 per year charge at Tuesday's hearing


A proposed $30 per year vehicle registration fee for road maintenance in Washington County is walking a tightrope at 50 percent public support.

Washington County’s Department of Land Use and Transportation and independent research firm DHM Research presented the study to the Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

A May survey assessed residents’ opinions on transportation issues and road maintenance funding, including a potential countywide vehicle registration fee as outlined in Ordinance 778.

Key findings from the survey include:

• 96 percent of respondents rated Washington County as a good or excellent place to live.

• Traffic congestion and maintaining roads and infrastructure were rated as the most important transportation issues that residents want local government to address.

• Maintaining existing roads and infrastructure were rated the highest among transportation investment properties, followed by using technology to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion.

• Support for the proposed $30 per year vehicle registration fee was approximately 50 percent among respondents.

• Top reasons cited for supporting the $30 fee included maintaining roads in good and safe condition for the health and growth of the economy and optimal emergency response, in addition to keeping local control of funds.

• Top reasons cited for not supporting the fee centered on the idea that residents are already paying enough for transportation.

“Traditional funding sources, primarily the gas tax, are simply not keeping up with road maintenance needs,” said Andrew Singelakis, director of Land Use and Transportation. “Poor road conditions will get worse and are projected to cost up to 10 times more to fix later.”

The next Board of Commissioners pubic hearing on the vehicle registration fee is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 17, at the Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building, Shirley Huffman Auditorium, 155 N. First. Ave., Suite 300, in Hillsboro. Residents may also comment on the project’s website at co.washington.or.us.




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