Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski this week signed legislation that raises $300 million a year for spending on public transit, rails, ports, airports, roads and bridges.
Local governments will get about half of the money, and the state will use its share for pay-as-you go projects and to back $800 million of transportation revenue bonds.
The governor’s office said in a release that the Jobs and Transportation Act of 2009 amounts to Oregon’s “largest long-term investment in transportation infrastructure” and would create 40,000 jobs over the next decade.
The bill increases gasoline taxes by 25% to 30 cents a gallon by 2011, raises vehicle registration fees by almost 60% to $86, hikes title fees by 40% to $77, raises the price of license plates by 300% to $20, and increases the cost of a drivers license by 29% to $44.50.
“This bill represents a fundamental shift in how we approach transportation so that we are investing in all modes of transportation comprehensively — thus strengthening our economy, while also advancing our goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our dependence on foreign sources of fossil fuels,” Kulongoski said in a release.
The package also includes authorization for about $100 million of lottery revenue bonds to finance construction of rail, marine, air, and public transit projects.
The package is also smaller than the governor initially proposed last November. He wanted a $499 million annual revenue measure and planned to use cigarette taxes, rather than lottery receipts, to back the rail, air, and public transit measures. Oregon’s constitution limits use of gas taxes and vehicle fees to road spending.