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Street Maintenance Benefits

Questions & Answers about the Local Fuels Tax

Why is preventative street maintenance a good investment?
For many years Troutdale’s Public Works Department has managed a program to systematically seal and maintain city streets.First, a sealant is applied to cracks in asphalt or concrete pavement; this reduces the infiltration of water and debris. Then (usually within a year or two) a second seal—called “slurry”—is applied over the entire street. Each maintenance cycle adds 5 to 10 years to the life of the street. That saves us all money and helps keep our neighborhoods livable.

Why are road maintenance funding sources and amounts not sustainable?
Most highway funding in the U.S. comes from federal and state gas taxes. However, the federal gastax rate hasn’t increased in 22 years. Here in Oregon, the Legislature has raised the gas tax only once in the past 22 years. That means money from federal and state sources for maintaining Troutdale’s streets isn’t keeping up with the cost to keep our streets from deteriorating. Troutdale City Council is aware of the problem and has made it a priority to find a solution that is fair for everyone using our streets.

What’s the funding gap?
Troutdale’s road maintenance program is in jeopardy. Available funds are no longer sufficient to continue the existing program.

  • Troutdale street revenues come primarily from the State Highway Fund. These flat or declining revenues provide $800,000 per year.
  • But current funding needs are $1 million per year, and expected to exceed $1.6 million by 2022-23.
  • The current gap is $200,000 per year rising to $800,000.

What’s the solution?
The solution proposed by the City Council is a local option gas tax at 3¢ per gallon phased in over 3 years to adequately fund street maintenance.

Will everyone who uses our streets pay their share?
Anyone who buys gas here will help pay to keep our streets maintained.

How will the money raised be spent?
If voters approve, the money raised will ONLY be spent in Troutdale. By law, these funds can ONLY be used to pay for road maintenance. Troutdale City Council will also adopt by resolution a public reporting system to track tax revenues and program expenditures to assure accountability, with reports made available to the public.

Don’t forget to vote by November 3, 2015. The last day to register is October 13.

Learn more:
Contact Steve Gaschler, Public Works Director


This Page Was Last Updated November 22, 2017

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