by: Rob Harriman, Editorial Cartoon

Why can't the elected representatives listen and just leave it alone, instead of stirring up trouble like that.

Well, road maintenance is going to be paid for, one way or another and the burden of that cost is rightly on either the people who drive the roads and are wearing out the tarmac or the people who live in the jurisdiction where the roads are played out who must shoulder the costs.

City councils like Tigard's know that the tax at the pump works and that it is a painless way of raising the necessary funds. They see evidence of it in other jurisdictions, like Sandy, who voted on and approved a tax at the pump on it's gas stations in town and now they have a stable fund for maintaining their roads.

Funny thing, everyone is still buying gas at the same rate as before the tax.

It can work other places too, except that the Petroleum Dealers Association fight it tooth and nail whenever it comes up as a local tax. They would prefer that it comes as an all-inclusive tax levied at the state level.

They are right about that, but the Oregon Legislature is not willing to go along and raise the tax as it is not politically expedient. So it is left up to the city councils of Oregon to put the burden on the cars gassing up in their town. And that is because it is not politically expedient to levy a tax without approval of the voting public, who will vote it down, nor do they want to pay for it themselves through a local tax on each household.

The Tigard City Council have taken a brave risk in resolving to levy the tax without going to the polls, but it is the right choice, for now, until the State Legislature brings the State tax up to par and parcels it out to the counties and cities who need good roads.

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