|Every day, Oregonians invest directly in the state’s transportation system. That’s because part of every vehicle registration or driver license fee helps fund road and bridge improvements across the state.
Oregon’s Legislative Assembly authorized a total of $2.46 billion in revenue bonds to finance the OTIA packages in 2001 and 2003. As of July 2006, OTIA revenue bonds totaling $945 million had been issued. These funds are being used for projects that add capacity to the highway system, resurface highways, and replace or repair bridges. Counties and cities received $300 million of the $945 million in bond proceeds to repair or replace local bridges. ODOT will issue the remaining OTIA bonds in the next several years to build upcoming projects in the program.
Fees Help to Finance Bonds
In 2001 and 2003, the Legislature also approved increases in title, registration and driver license fees to raise revenue to repay the bonds. The 2003 Legislature approved an increase of nearly 10 percent in the weight-mile tax for commercial vehicles over 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. The Legislature also earmarked some of the revenue raised by these increases for maintenance and preservation of county roads and city streets.
As of July 2006, the DMV fee and the weight-mile tax increases have raised a total of $396.9 million since the first fee increases approved by the Legislature went into effect in 2001. These fees will remain in place after the last of the OTIA bonds are issued to help repay the debt while Oregonians enjoy the benefits of improved mobility and economic stimulus provided by the OTIA program.