City of Sisters Fuel Tax (March 2010)

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There was a City of Sisters Fuel Tax on the March 9 ballot in Deschutes County for voters in the city of Sisters.

This measure was approved

  • YES 326 (59.82%)Approveda
  • NO 219 (40.18%)[1]

This measure sought to add a tax on those that deal out motor vehicle fuel. Those that sell motor vehicle fuel will be required to add an additional $.03 to the price of the fuel which would then be given to the city. As stated below, the money collected from this tax will go towards road repair and construction in the city.[2]

Lawsuit

An associate that represents the Oregon gas dealers has now filed a suit against this tax and the implementation. They said that the new tax violates a state implemented tax on local gas and that it was enacted before the voters had approved it. The city denies these claims and notes that nothing is enacted unless by voters approval on this issue.[3]

Background

This measure was originally supposed to appear on the November 3, 2009 ballot, but it was not approved to be on that ballot and was pushed to a later date.

The original referendum called for voters to approve or reject a gas tax approved by the Sisters Council on August 13, 2009. The gas tax is a three-cent per gallon gas tax. City officials estimate that the tax will cost people approximately $21 a year. The council sough implementing a gas tax because the city said that there simply isn't enough funds to continue road maintenance in the city.

Shortly after the council approved the tax, Paul Romain from the Oregon Petroleum Association filed paperwork to put a referendum on the ballot. In order for the issue to be placed on the ballot, Romain and referendum supporters need to gather a minimum of 110 voter signatures. Romain has also filed a similar measure in the city of Madras.[4] These signitures were not collected in time.

References