Road maintenance in Clackamas County
The county is facing a $17 million annual shortfall for road maintenance, due to escalating costs and the loss of stable funding.
Delaying maintenance will result in deteriorating roads, which will decrease safety.
Smooth pavement, well-marked intersections, unobstructed sight lines and clear lane markings are all critical to maintaining safe roads. Clackamas County lacks the funds to continue maintenance at the level needed to maintain all our roadways.
The county is reviewing options to find stable local funding to protect our roads, avoid a larger future financial burden, reduce the wear and tear on cars, and protect property values.
Why not move funding from other services or programs?
Oregon law expressly prohibits using property taxes – the County’s largest source of funding – for road maintenance. Similar restrictions apply to other sources of funds the County receives. Consequently, it is not possible to reallocate funds intended for other services or programs to finance road maintenance.
What can be done?
In response to the continuing need for road maintenance funds in Clackamas County, the Board of Commissioners approved placing a 6-cents-per-gallon fuel tax measure on the Nov. 8 ballot (Ballot Measure 3-509).
The proposed fuel tax would be for seven years. The tax would be collected countywide, and the revenue would be split with cities in the county – 60% would go to the county and 40% to the cities. Each city will determine how best to spend the revenue based on its own transportation needs.
If the 6-cent fuel tax measure is approved, the cost to the average driver would be $22.56 per year for seven years.
The board has approved a list of the specific maintenance and safety projects that would be accomplished with the funds generated.