Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Jobs & Transportation Act of 2009
Truck tax and fee increases
traffic on Oregon highway

Oregon will be taking on more road and bridge projects in coming years as it uses an increase in car and truck taxes and fees to bond for nearly $1 billion in transportation-related improvements. The 2009 Oregon Legislative Session featured passage of House Bill 2001, called the Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act, a funding package that is based in part on an increase in truck weight-mile taxes, flat fees, registration fees, road use assessment fees, and heavy vehicle trip permit fees. Added to increases in car fees, the changes generate $300 million per year and allow for $840 million in bonds for transportation projects.

The bill is estimated to create thousands of jobs in the next ten years and sustain the momentum of previous funding bills known as the Oregon Transportation Investment Act. This new Act is unusual because, unlike any other Oregon transportation bill, it dedicates most of the state’s share of revenue to specific projects. The bill lists 37 projects previously approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission that must be financed by bonds and it also names six counties, four cities, and two ports in Eastern Oregon that will receive funds totaling $42.7 million for projects proposed by local governments and recommended to the Transportation Commission by Area Commissions on Transportation.

The Oregon Constitution requires that money raised by taxes and fees on the ownership, operation, or use of motor vehicles, or on the fuel they use, must be spent on roads, but this is the first time a bill has directed funding to specific projects. This only applies to the state portion of funds, however. Counties receive a share based on vehicle registrations and cities receive a share based on population, but they may choose how it will be spent on their roads and bridges.

Legislators did not call for tax and fee increases to take effect immediately. Instead, the changes were scheduled for varying times over the next two years. Here’s a summary of the changes:

The first truck fee change took effect September 28, 2009, with an increase in the Heavy Vehicle Trip Permit fee. This is the 10-day permit needed by heavy trucks that have not paid Oregon registration fees (do not have a red Oregon Commercial plate or don’t have Oregon listed on the base state apportioned cab card issued under the International Registration Plan). The Heavy Vehicle Trip Permit now costs $43 instead of $21. A total of 35,770 of these permits were issued in 2008.

A second truck fee change took effect January 1, 2010, when heavy truck registration fees increased. The fees more than doubled so they now range from $55 for vehicles with a combined weight of 8,000 pounds or less, to $593 for 46,001-48,000 pounds, to $998 for 78,001-80,000 pounds, to $1,295 for 104,001-105,500 pounds.

Registration fees for tow trucks and mobile home toters also increased January 1, 2010. The fees now range from $102 for vehicles with a combined weight of 8,001-10,000 pounds, to $387 for 46,001-48,000 pounds, to $652 for 78,001-80,000 pounds, to $845 for 104,001-105,500 pounds.

Registration fees for heavy trucks registered as farm vehicles also changed January 1, 2010. The fees increased 52% so they now range from $35 for vehicles with a combined weight of 8,000 pounds or less, to $258 for 46,001-48,000 pounds, to $440 for 78,001-80,000 pounds, to $585 for 104,001-105,500 pounds.

Weight-mile taxes increased October 1, 2010. Weight-mile tax rates increased an average of 24.5%, effective October 2010. Under new taxes, for example, a truck with a declared combined weight of 80,000 lbs. goes from paying 13.16 cents per mile to 16.38 cents.

Flat fees increased October 1, 2010. In lieu of the weight-mile tax, certain carriers may elect to pay an annual flat fee for each 100 lbs. of declared combined weight. Under new annual fees, log haulers may pay $7.59 per 100 lbs., sand and gravel haulers may pay $7.53 per 100 lbs., wood chip haulers may pay $30.65 per 100 lbs., and for-hire farm carriers in trucks under 46,000 lbs. combined weight may pay $6.23 per 100 lbs., all effective October 2010.

Road Use Assessment Fees also increased October 1, 2010. The fees increased to 7.1 cents per equivalent single-axle load mile traveled, also effective October 2010. These fees apply to trucks operating under single-trip, non-divisible load permits at gross weights over 98,000 lbs.

Car fee increases took effect in October 2009. Among the changes in car fees: A $10 increase in Light Vehicle Trip Permit fees, a $2.50 increase in registered vehicle trip permit fees, and a $5 increase in trip permits issued by a vehicle dealer or a towing business. Other fees go up so the two-year car registration fee is $86, the vehicle title fee is $77, and a pair of license plates costs $20. Driver license fees didn’t change, but state ID card fees increased by $10 for issuance, renewal, and replacement.

The Oregon tax on gas and diesel increases, too, going up 6 cents to 30 cents per gallon on January 1, 2011.

Funding for 37 major projects
construction scene

When legislators passed the 2009 Jobs and Transportation Act, it was a foregone conclusion that the revenue from increases in car and truck taxes and fees would be spent on Oregon roads. The state Constitution requires that. But this is the first time an Oregon transportation bill has directed that the state portion of funding be spent on specific road and bridge projects.

Following is a list of the 37 projects that the Oregon Department of Transportation must advance:

Region 1 --
View a project map 

US26 at the Glencoe Road Interchange, Washington County — $32 million — widen the structure over US26 to add a southbound lane and improve access to industrial lands, and widen and lengthen westbound off-ramp.

I-84 at the 257th Avenue Interchange, Multnomah County — $24 million — improve the safety and capacity of the eastbound off-ramp, widen South Frontage Road, provide intersection improvements at Graham Road, opening up the entire industrial area, and reconstruct the undercrossing at the west end of the interchange to provide for two-way traffic and improved vertical clearance.

OR212: Sunrise Corridor, Clackamas County — $100 million — provide a four-lane facility to improve access for the industrial area, with minor interchange modifications at I-205, add a westbound lane on OR212 from 102nd to 82nd, improve the intersection of 82nd at OR212, and provide a four-lane facility to Rock Creek Junction.

US26 at the Shute Road Interchange, Washington County — $45 million — relocate certain local facilities to improve operations, build a new westbound-southbound loop ramp to serve Shute Road, and realign local roads to improve traffic flow at the interchange.

I-5 at the I-205 Interchange, Washington County — $11 million — improve northbound ramp.

US26: 185th Avenue to Cornell Road, Washington County — $20 million — add a travel lane in each direction, improve drainage, install cable barrier, and upgrade traffic control devices.

I-205 and OR213 at the Washington Street Interchange, Clackamas County — $22 million — improve and widen OR213, and reconstruct the OR213 and Washington Street intersection.

I-84 at the Hood River Interchange, Exit 64, Hood River County — $10 million — eliminate a height restriction for freight traffic destined to or from Washington.

OR43 at the Sellwood Bridge Interchange, Multnomah County — $30 million — advance with work on the bridge connection at the OR43 west end.

Region 2 --
View a project map

OR6 at US101, Tillamook County
— $27 million — realignment work, access and safety improvements, resulting in additional capacity.

OR99W: Newberg and Dundee Bypass, Yamhill County — $192 million — advance with Phase 1 work building a two-lane highway from approximately OR219 at Wynooski Road around the southern end of Newberg and reconnect to OR99W south of Dundee, beyond Fulquartz Landing Road.

I-5 at OR214 Interchange, Marion County — $43 million — improve Woodburn interchange to increase safety and capacity.

I-5 at Beltline Highway, Lane County — $80 million — advance work improving ramps, auxiliary lanes, and Beltline bridge over I-5.

Beltline Highway at Delta Highway, Lane County — $2 million — modify Delta Highway interchange.

I-5 at Kuebler Road, Marion County — $15 million — add a westbound to southbound loop ramp and realign the existing southbound exit ramp.

I-5 at Kuebler Road, Marion County — $4 million — improve local street access and traffic flow to Mill Creek Industrial site.

Region 3 --
View a project map

OR42, Douglas / Coos County — $10 million — straighten and improve curves on OR42.
OR62: Corridor Solution, Jackson County — $100 million — add highway capacity between the North Medford interchange and Vilas Road.

I-5 at the Fern Valley Road Interchange, Jackson County — $25 million — rebuild interchange.

I-5, Sutherlin Hill, Josephine County — $4.1 million — construct truck climbing lane.

I-5, Sexton Summit, Josephine County — $10 million — add truck climbing lanes from Sexton Summit to Stage Summit.

Region 4 --
View a project map

I-84 at the US97 Interchange, Biggs Junction, Sherman County
— $19 million — widen the structures over I-84, the Union Pacific Railroad, and the approach roadways to three lanes, and widen and/or realign the interchange ramps to accommodate volume, size, and turning needs.

US97: Crooked River Bridge to Redmond Reroute, Deschutes County — $2 million — repave five-mile segment of failed pavement.

OR140: Klamath Falls to the Nevada state line, Klamath County — $23 million — realign the roadway and eliminate safety hazards at Beatty Curves (MP 41.7 to 42.7), widen the roadway and shoulders and realign curves to improve freight mobility and increase safety at Bly Mountain (MP 25.2 to 34.4 & MP 21), and realign the roadway at Warner Curves (MP 20 to 21.2).

Murphy Road at the US97 Interchange, Deschutes County — $25 million — widen road, install new signals, improve interchange.

US97: Redmond Reroute, Deschutes County — $5 million — address intersection capacity constraints, signalize roads and accesses, repave 5th and 6th Streets through Redmond.

Region 5 --
View a project map

Chico Road, Baker County — $1 million — rebuild the freight route to the Elkhorn View Industrial Park.

Chandler Lane, Baker County — $4.6 million — rebuild road between I-84 and US30 to provide alternate truck route.

I-84 Spring Creek, Union County — $5.7 million — construct a truck climbing lane on I-84 near MP 249 to improve freight mobility.

NW Washington Avenue, Malheur County — $4.5 million — realign road to remove curve.
Pierce Road, Union County — $5 million — widen and pave county road for more direct truck access to I-84 from OR82.

OR82 Alternate Route, Wallowa County — $5 million — rebuild Hurricane Road and Airport Lane (county roads) between Enterprise and Joseph to provide an alternate route for local vehicle and bike/pedestrian traffic.

Westland Road / Lamb / Walker Intersection, Umatilla County — $1.1 million — realign and rebuild intersection.

OR207 and OR206, Morrow County — $0.5 million — realign or rebuild intersections at Shobe Canyon, Clarks Canyon, Rhea Creek, Gooseberry, and Porcupine roads.

I-84 Vehicle Chain-Up Areas, east of Pendleton, Umatilla County — $4.7 million — install new or extend existing chain-up areas along I-84 to enhance safety.

Izee-Paulina Highway, Grant County — $4.5 million — rebuild approximately 10 miles of county road that serves as an alternate route to US26 during closures.

Monroe Street and US20, Harney County — $0.9 million — improve multi-legged intersection in Burns.

Additional funds for projects
Oregon map with counties

The 2009 Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act provides six counties, four cities, and two ports in Eastern Oregon Region 5 with a specific amount of funds for projects proposed by their local governments and recommended to the Oregon Transportation Commission by Area Commissions on Transportation:

Baker County .....$4.5 million

Grant County .....$ 1.1 million

Harney County .....$ 4.1 million

Malheur County .....$ 5.8 million

Union County .....$ 1.3 million

Umatilla County .....$ 2.5 million

City of Nyssa .....$ 1 million

City of Heppner .....$ 3 million

City of Milton-Freewater .....$ 3 million

City of Ontario .....$ 1.2 million

Port of Umatilla .....$ 4.5 million

Port of Morrow .....$ 10.7 million

Projects update -- Feb 2011
highway construction scene

At a February 1, 2011, hearing before the Senate Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee, ODOT Deputy Director of Operations Jerri Bohard and Highway Division Administrator Paul Mather provided an update on transportation investments in general. Highway construction projects currently underway are funded through a variety of programs, including the Jobs and Transportation Act (JTA), Oregon Transportation Investment Act III (OTIA III), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

Read ODOT's entire report.

At the direction of the 2009 Legislature, ODOT has set up a Web site to report about projects funded by the Jobs and Transportation Act. The site provides a description of each project, its benefits, an estimated date for bids and entering into a contract, estimated cost and completion date, and explanations of changes to completion dates and cost. Data is updated weekly until projects are complete.