The Oregon Legislature passed a sweeping $5.3 billion transportation bill just before adjourning the 2017 session, according to The Oregonian. The massive funding bill includes a gas tax hike, increase in vehicle registration fees, a payroll tax on employee wages, and a tax on new car sales. Gov. Kate Brown has yet to sign the measure but tweeted her support and enthusiasm shortly after it cleared both the house and the senate.
The sweeping legislation achieved bipartisan support, but failed to earn NFIB’s backing due to the many taxes and fees included in the bill – unpopular concepts with small business owners, both as employers and taxpayers, according to NFIB/Oregon state director Anthony K. Smith.
“Overwhelmingly, NFIB members believe that Oregon has a spending problem and needs to learn to control costs,” wrote Smith in his letter to members. “The reason we find ourselves in budget holes, with underperforming schools and crumbling infrastructure is that the legislature consistently fails to properly prioritize spending. We have the money to fix some of these things, but we cannot keep saying ‘yes’ to everything.”
Some Legislators marked the bill as a significant success for both lawmakers and Oregonians.
“This is probably the most comprehensive transportation bill that the Oregon legislature has ever passed,” said Sen. Lee Beyer according to the Oregonian. He said the bill was large enough that it, “affects every corner of this state.”