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Supporters of the $5.2 billion regional payroll tax predict it will pass at the Nov. 3 general election.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Metro measure on the Nov. 3 general election ballot is intended to reduce congestion.Opponents of Metro's $5.2 billion regional transportation funding measure released partial poll results showing it losing on Monday, Oct. 19.

Consultants with the Stop the Metro Wage Tax campaign told reporters their polling on Measure 26-218 shows that 36% of likely voters support it, 41% oppose it and 23% remain undecided.

That is a sharp reversal from earlier polling released by Metro that said more than 50% of voters support the measure that would fund numerous projects and programs in the Portland metro region, including a new MAX light line between Portland and Tualatin through Tigard.

"We're turning yes voters into undecided voters, and undecided voters into no voters," said Kevin Looper, a campaign consultant hired by the opponents, said during the Oct. 19 briefing.

The measure would impose a payroll tax of up to 0.75% on employers with 25 or more workers. It has no sunset and could continue after all the projects and programs in the measure are funded.

Measure supporters accused the opponents, which are largely funded by big businesses, of deceptive advertising. Abigail Doerr, a spokeswoman for the Let's Get Moving political action committee, predicted the measure will pass.

"Despite hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate funding for absurd mailers and deceptive television ads, we're confident that when voters review the facts and see the local jobs and tangible investments proposed in this package, they'll trust the voices of local leaders over big corporations beholden to out-of-state shareholders and vote yes. Oregon is expecting record voter turnout for progressive causes this election, and we fully expect voters to agree that it's time to ask corporate interests to pay their fair share to invest in more transit, safer streets and addressing air pollution right here in our community," said Doerr.

Stop the Metro Wage Tax has reported raising $1.34 million as of Oct. 19. Let's Get Moving has reported raising nearly $780,000. Another committee in support of the measure, Infrastructure Jobs Are Good Jobs, has reported raising just over $137,000.

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