Clackamas County commissioners have been working
on a county vehicle registration fee since 2009
At the direction of Metro and Clackamas County, the state legislature passed House Bill # 2001
(in 2009) that would allow common law counties like Clackamas County with a population of
350,000 or more the right to pass vehicle registration fees without a public vote for the
construction of the Sellwood Bridge project.
This was the county's first attempt at passing a $5 vehicle registration fee with the possibility of
increasing it to $40. It was projected to raise $22 million over a 25 year period ($1.7 million per
year) and would have cost the taxpayers about $32 million with interest because the county would
borrow the full amount up front in 2011. Citizens wanted no part of the vehicle registration fee
and filed a referendum. In May of 2011 the fee was voted down by 63% . After the election, we
learned that Multnomah County did not need the $22 million for the Sellwood Bridge project and
was planning to divert $22 million from other construction funds to light rail.
Commissioners and Metro were not willing to give up trying to pass a vehicle registration fee and
in 2011 House Bill 2179 was modified to remove the bridge requirement 2 years later (effective
New commissioners took office in 2013. With the past failures of vehicle registration fees and gas
taxes, they were unsure what the public would accept, so they decided to ask the public. On the
May, 2016 ballot, the public was asked if they would require voter approval of vehicle registration
fees, gas taxes, or other fees. The result of measure (3-478) was 62% "yes."
The city of Portland also asked for a gas tax increase and their measure (26-173) was voted down
In November of 2016 the commissioners asked the voters if they would approve a new 6 cents
county gas tax (that would net the county $5.6 million per year) and the voters in measure (3-480)
said "No" by 68%.
In 2017, the state legislature increased the state gas/vehicle tax. The county's share of this
increase fee is projected to bring in an additional $5 million next year and will automatically
increase by $1 million each year until 2027 when it reaches $13 million per year for the county.
This is in addition to the 'base' $24 million the county already receives from the state gas tax fund
each year. These funds can legally be used for our roads and should be used for them.
Even with a 55% increase in state funding, 4 of the 5 county commissioners recently voted to
impose a new county vehicle registration fee that will cost $60.00 every time you register a
vehicle in Clackamas County.
When we elect county commissioners, we expect them to be honorable and represent us. They
were clearly told in measure (3-478) to put vehicle and gas tax spending issues to a vote.
These 4 are the less than Honorable Commissioners who have voted against the Citizens of
Clackamas County and for a vehicle registration fee: Jim Bernard, Martha Schrader, Sonya Fischer, and Ken Humberston
Paul Savas was the only commissioner to support the Citizens of Clackamas County
What you can do...
Sign the Petition...Collect Signatures...Make a Donation
There are elections coming, Vote the bums out!