Gas prices in Forest Grove. File photo: Chas Hundley
SALEM – Oregon’s gas tax is about to increase again under legislation passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2017.
Prices will rise 2 cents on January 1, 2020. The last increase of 4 cents came in 2018, and two cents will be added in both 2022 and 2024.
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The taxes were initiated to help pay for Oregon’s crumbling highway system, but many smaller cities and rural areas argue revenue from the gas tax is not being distributed evenly, mostly going to projects in and around the Portland metro area.
However, counties and cities will receive 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of each two-cent increase in the coming years, including 2020.
The legislation, HB 2017, raised money through a tax on motor fuels, but also through increases to vehicle title and registration fees, weight-mile taxes on heavy trucks, a .5 percent privilege tax on new vehicle purchases, a .1 percent payroll tax, called a transit tax, and a $15 tax on purchases of new bicycles costing $200 or more.
A detailed report by the Oregon Transportation Commission submitted to the Joint Committee on Transportation on Dec. 1 that details how and where tax money will be used is available on the Oregon Department of Transportation website.