Jobs and Transportation Act Overview
|House Bill 2001, also known as the Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act, is the transportation funding plan adopted by the 2009 Legislature. Three core themes emerged from the legislation: |
- accountability, innovation and environmental stewardship;
- highway, road and street funding; and
- multimodal funding.
The Jobs and Transportation Act has many provisions addressing important elements of Oregon’s transportation system and our economy. The following overview is a summary of what the Jobs and Transportation Act requires or allows the Oregon Transportation Commission, ODOT and other government bodies to do. The statute (chapter 865, Oregon Laws 2009) is available from the Oregon Legislature’s Web site (pdf).
|Accountability, Innovation and Environmental Stewardship|
| The Oregon Transportation Commission and the department are undertaking a number of studies and initiatives including the following: |
- Develop one or more congestion pricing pilots in the Portland metro area in cooperation with Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, City of Portland and Metro. A congestion pricing pilot must be implemented by October 2012.
- Develop a least cost transportation planning model for use by the state, Metropolitan Planning Organizations and local governments.
- Make information about transportation projects available on its website.
- Review and update the criteria used to select projects for funding in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
- Adopt rules incorporating environmental performance standards into the design and construction of all state highway construction projects, including local government projects funded by the department. In addition, the rules should improve the environmental permitting process.
- Adopt practical design practices to reduce the cost of delivering transportation projects.
- Develop design alternatives to improve the safety of Cornelius Pass Road in Multnomah and Washington counties (Cornelius Pass Road carries hazardous materials traffic).
- Implement a pilot to contract out for highway maintenance services.
- Contract with the Travel Information Council for the management of rest areas on I-5 and I-84.
- Participate in and finance the development of transportation plans needed to reduce greenhouse gas emission by light vehicles. ODOT will work with the Department of Land Conservation and Development, the Department of Energy, the Department of Environmental Quality, Metro, local governments in the Portland area, the Central Lane Metropolitan Planning Organization, and local governments in the Eugene-Springfield area within Central Lane MPO.
- Make the Road User Fee Task Force (RUFTF) permanent. RUFTF will continue to develop and refine alternatives to the gasoline tax as a method of raising revenue for highways, roads and streets.
|Highway, Road and Street Funding|
HB 2001’s revenue for highways, roads and streets increases in steps. This includes the revenue raised by:
- Light vehicle registration fees
- Light vehicle title fees
- License plate manufacturing fee
- Miscellaneous vehicle trip permit fees
- Heavy vehicle registration fees (January 1, 2010)
- Weight-mile tax and related heavy vehicle fees (October 1, 2010)
- Gasoline and diesel tax increase (January 1, 2011)
When fully implemented (Jan. 1, 2011), HB 2001 will raise $300 million per year. The money will be distributed as follows:
- $3 million per year to the Travel Information Council until 2020.
- $2 million per month to ODOT.
- The balance of the money, about $273 million per year, is distributed as follows:
- 20 percent (about $54.6 million per year) to city street programs based on population.
- 30 percent (about $81.9 million per year) to county road programs based on vehicle registration.
- 50 percent (about $136.5 million per year) to ODOT for the state highway program. The money is allocated as shown below. It may also be used to pay debt service on bonds.
- 33 percent or about $45 million to highway maintenance, preservation and safety.
- 15.75 percent or about $21.5 million to highway modernization program.
- 51.25 percent or about $70 million to bond repayment and the 2009 Transportation Projects Account for the 2009 Transportation Projects program.
The 2009 Transportation Projects program consists of 37 specific highway projects plus 14 additional projects that will be selected by local governments in Region 5 (eastern Oregon). These projects and allocations total $960.3 million. The 2009 Transportation Projects program is financed by $840 million in Highway User Tax Bond proceeds plus the cash flow allocated to the Transportation Projects Account. In addition to paying debt service on the bonds, the Transportation Projects Account will provide a short-term supplement of $15 million per year for maintenance. The supplemental funding for maintenance will continue for about seven years until the full amount of cash flow into the Transportation Projects Account is needed for debt service.
HB 2001 included $100 million in lottery-backed bonds for the multimodal ConnectOregon III program. ConnectOregon III provides grants and loans for air, marine/port, public transit and rail projects. ConnectOregon III required at least ten percent of the program’s funding to be allocated to each region of the state, provided there are eligible projects in the region. In addition, at least five percent of the ConnectOregon III money had to be allocated to rural airport projects.
HB 2001 increased the custom plate fee to $100 for two years, (an increase of $25 per year). The additional revenue allows the department to fund the second Cascades passenger train in the Willamette Valley without relying on a General Fund appropriation. HB 2001 also increases the ID card fee by $11. This will sustain revenues for transportation services for senior citizens and people with disabilities despite incurring higher transaction costs and lower ID card volumes.
HB 2001 created an Urban Trail Fund. Money in the fund may be used to develop and maintain multi-use trails within urban growth boundaries for non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians. In a separate bill, the legislature appropriated $1 million for the Urban Trail Fund.
In a related action, the Oregon Transportation Commission adopted a rule that sets aside $24 million per year in flexible federal money that had been used in the state highway program. This money funds eligible non-road projects such as public transportation capital purchases and construction, transportation demand management (for example, rideshare and carpool programs), and transportation growth management and similar planning activities. These projects are selected through the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program process.
HB 2001 contains a number of additional provisions, including:
- Creating a new vehicle class -- medium-speed electric vehicles -- to deal with vehicles described as “neighborhood electric vehicles.” The department will adopt rules that define minimum safety standards for these vehicles.
- Establishing a process to allow consideration of co-location of ODOT and local government facilities during the interim when the legislature is not in session.
- Adding a requirement that the Department of Administrative Services, Office of Economic Analysis will conduct an Efficient Fee Study in addition to the biennial Highway Cost Allocation Study. The Efficient Fee Study is an alternative approach that will include highway replacement cost, traffic congestion cost and cost associated with greenhouse gas emissions.
- Implementing a four-year moratorium on new local fuel taxes, prohibiting local governments from enacting new ordinances, resolutions or other provisions taxing fuel.
- Making changes to the process under which a county commission may adopt a local option vehicle registration fee. The bill allows the board of commissioners in counties with a population greater than 350,000 (Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington) to adopt a county registration fee without first obtaining voter approval. Between October 2009 and June 2013, a local option fee may be adopted to finance the design and replacement of the Sellwood Bridge. After July 1, 2013, these counties may increase the county registration fee for any road purpose.
- Adding a provision that requires ODOT and the Travel Information Council to work with the private sector to develop a plan for installing electric motor vehicle charging stations at rest areas.
- Adding a provision prohibiting car rental companies from imposing a surcharge on rental agreements to cover the fees paid to register and title vehicles that is more than the amount reasonably calculated to recover the fees.
- Extending the income tax credit available for insurance companies that offer “pay as you drive” auto insurance.
- Extending the income tax credit available for individuals and firms that retrofit trucks with diesel engines.