Oregon Repeal Truck Weight-Mile and Increased Fuel Taxes, Measure 82 (May 2000)

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Oregon Ballot Measure 82 (2000) is a veto referendum on House Bill 2082, which repeals the weight-mile tax, establishes diesel fuel tax (29 cents per gallon), increases gasoline tax by five cents to diesel tax rate, and raises vehicle registration fees.[1]

Election results

This measure failed at the May 2000 primary election by a large margain, which means the house bill would not take effect.

Measure 82
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No767,32987.5%
Yes 109,741 12.5%

Ballot title

Repeals Truck Weight-Mile Tax; Establishes And Increases Fuel Taxes[2]

Support

[3] Westside Economic Alliance supported the measure, issuing a statement against the AAA's ads in opposition, saying:

"The implication is that Measure 82 shifts the burden (for funding road repairs and improvements) unfairly onto motorists. It doesn't. In fact, a constitutional amendment approved in November protects against that happening. AAA knows that. It just doesn't tell you that in its misleading ad. A state legislative analysis shows that even with the passage of Measure 82, motorists and truckers would continue to pay their respective fair share of building and maintaining roads."

Certain members of the AAA actually came out in support of the measure, wanting to distance themselves from the members who they say waged an embarrassing and "shameful" campaign against it. The supportive members favored the extra investment the measure would provide for roads and bridges, including dangerous areas where many lives had been lost each year, saying, "[measure 82] specifically targets dangerous intersections and bottlenecks throughout Oregon to improve safety, relieve congestion and improve traffic flow".

Many citizens were simply ready for less congestion on Oregon roads, while certain medical organizations supported having safer roads due to the measure.


Opposition

[4] Those opposed to the measure were against raising taxes on gasoline and felt the measure was not the proper way to fund roads.

Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates (AORTA) said, "While not enough funds are allocated to maintain our road system, insufficient revenue is NOT the main reason.Too much money is spent on adding expensive, major road capacity (adding lanes, expanding interchanges, building new highway segments)."


State Senator Joan Dukes (D-Astoria) thought the measure was unfair and unecessary, saying,

"Moving from a weight-mile tax to a straight diesel tax will lead to an inefficient use of our highways. Oregon truckers who don't drive a lot of miles will be hit hard, while the heaviest trucks traveling the most miles will pay the least to maintain our roads. Oregon is known for having the fairest and most accurate truck-taxing system in the country. Even Congress is considering moving to the Oregon system for the federal taxing of trucks. Why should we fix what isn't broken?"

Certain employees of AAA, including the president, called the measure unfair and said it would "force Oregon motorists to pay more than their fair share" and "give huge tax breaks of about $50 million a year to big trucking companies."They also pointed out that the measure would give Oregon the second highest gas tax in the country.

Bill Sizemore and Oregon Taxpayers United, who have sponsored many initiatives in Oregon as well as voiced their opinions on many other proposed measures, publicly opposed this one, arguing that the state simply does not really need the money and that the measure actually benefits trucking companies.


See also

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References


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