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Gas tax campaign announces supporters

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The campaign to pass Portland's proposed 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax ballot measure has announced its co-chairs and endorsers.

The Monday announcement was made even though the ballot title has yet to be settled. Paul Romain, executive director of the Oregon Fuels Association, is challenging the title in Multnomah County Circuit Court. The hearing is not scheduled until March 3.

The measure will appear on the May Primary Election ballot. The campaign to pass it is called Fix Our Streets Portland. It is chaired by Tom Imeson, Vice President of Northwest Natural, and Kari Schlosshauer, a Southeast Portland parent of two and advocate for safer streets.

“I’m honored to co-chair the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign,” Imeson said in the Monday announcement. “Our economy depends on Portland’s robust transportation system, and this gas tax will provide the necessary funding to address the critical backlog of deferred maintenance projects and ensure Portland taxpayers aren’t on the hook for costly repairs in the future. This is a much needed opportunity to invest in our basic infrastructure, and I’m excited Portland voters will have the opportunity to affirm our support.”

"I'm eager to serve as the co-chair of the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign because as a mother of two children, I want my family to be able to safely walk and bike to school and work without fear that we won't get to the other side of the street," Schlosshauer said in the Monday announcement. "I'm thrilled this proposal would invest $8 million in Safe Routes to School in the neighborhoods where it's needed most, so every Portlander can walk their kids to school, regardless of which neighborhood they call home. This is our chance to stand up for safer streets for every family in Portland."

Also supporting the measure are the Portland Business Alliance, Orange Splot LLC, Upstream Public Health and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

If approved by the voters, the tax will last four years. It will raise an estimated $64 million with a slight majority going to street maintenance and the rest going to safety improvement projects, after the cost of collection and administration.

Romain has promised to wage a vigorous campaign against the measure. His organization, which represents gas dealers, opposes local sales taxes.

For more information about the campaign, go to http://www.fixourstreetsportland.com.