Added revenue would go to repair area roads

Citing the need to provide residents more information about the need for motor vehicle fee, the Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday moved to postpone the first public hearing on it until June 3, 2014.

The commission is considering creating the fee to fund road maintenance projects. Commissioners settled on annual fees of $30 for cars and trucks and $17 for motorcycles and mopeds on Sept. 24. The also tentatively set the first public hearing for Oct. 15.

But questions and comments from the public convinced them that more time is required to explain the proposal and why it is needed. The commission has not yet decided whether it should be referred to county voters, either.

“The commissioners decided they needed more time to gauge public opinion, both on the fee and a possible election. And the county can always do a better job explaining why new fees are needed,” said county spokesman Philip Bransford.

As originally discussed, the fees would be collected every two years by the Oregon Motor Vehicles Department when county residents re-register their vehicles. The fees would be added to the other fees of $60 and $34 collected by the state at that time. They are 70 percent of the current state fees, which are the maximums that can be enacted by the county.

The proposed fees are projected to raise an extra $12.5 million a year for road maintenance projects. Washington County would keep 60 percent of those funds and divide the rest proportionately to the cities within the county.

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