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County board sets town hall in West Linn

Clackamas County commissioners will hear from the public about two tax measures they plan for the Nov. 8 ballot.

The town hall meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 3 at West Linn High School, 5464 W. A St. The event will be in Room F-201.

Commissioners conduct town-hall meetings quarterly in different communities.

The board voted last week (July 19) to proceed with a ballot measure imposing a 3 percent tax on retail sales of marijuana for recreational use, on top of a 17 percent state tax. Proceeds would go toward county law enforcement, code enforcement, addiction treatment and related health and safety programs.

If voters approve it, the tax would take effect Jan. 1 on sales outside cities. Some cities within the county have banned retail sales, although their actions are subject to voter approval Nov. 8.

The board has scheduled a public hearing at its business meeting Aug. 11 on a resolution referring a funding source for local road work on the Nov. 8 ballot. The preliminary plan is for a fuel tax of 6 cents per gallon, although an alternative is an annual vehicle registration fee of $25.

Under the plan, the county would split proceeds with cities on a 60-40 basis. If a city declines to sign an intergovernmental agreement with the county, its share would be returned to the pool for distribution.

The money must be spent on road work., according to the Oregon Constitution.

The tax or fee is planned for seven years, after which voters would have to renew it for it to continue.

Voters in the May 17 primary election supported by a 68 percent majority a county effort to pursue “voter-approved funding” for road repairs. Measure 3-478 was advisory only and did not specify any source.

Clackamas County maintains 1,400 miles of roads, more than half of which are rated in fair to poor condition. Officials say that the proposed tax or fee would raise about $5 million annually toward closing a projected annual maintenance gap of $17 million, but have specified how the money would be spent over seven years on 47 projects around the county.

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