Without needed funding, our roads will deteriorate further.
Clackamas County is at the crossroads of an expensive problem. The county is facing a $17 million annual shortfall for road maintenance, due to escalating costs and the loss of stable funding.
Because the cost of restoring a degraded road is 10 times more than the cost of preventive maintenance, our problem becomes bigger by the year.
Delaying maintenance will result in deteriorating roads, which will decrease the safety of our roads.
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.
We need 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?
The safety of our roads is at risk. We need to find a solution. We are reviewing the possible implementation of a limited, countywide vehicle registration fee (VRF) to begin needed maintenance and safety projects. The VRF would be temporary and dedicated to specific projects across the county.