Letters to the editor published July 7, 2017: Columbia City's Joe Turner sounds off on the Oregon Transportation Plan

The bigger picture on the Oregon Transportation Plan

In addition to having degrees in both office management and accounting, I worked seven years for several Oregon state agencies as purchasing agent/accounts payable and have intimate knowledge of the state bidding process and how the state pays its bills.

After reviewing the proposed ambitious Oregon Transportation Plan, I come to the conclusion there are two distinct parts. First is what is reasonable and fair, yet provides the most revenue with the least amount of administrative overhead cost. That is, gradually increasing the state gas tax, increasing the title and registration fees based on type of vehicles (including bicycles), and a surcharge on electric vehicles of $100 vehicles.

The second part is the most troubling, including statewide payroll tax of 0.1 percent, 0.75 percent (sales) tax on new and used vehicles, 3 percent tax on adult bicycles sales, and tolls for the use on I-5 and I-205, all of which are extremely hard to implement administratively and require an extreme amount of administrative overhead to the point that it may cost 86 cents of personnel and PERS costs for each new tax dollar generated.

Remember the $175 million spent on the planning and pre-construction costs of the bridge to nowhere called the Columbia River Crossing? Did our elected officials in Salem really learn anything from that fiasco?

I was once tasked by the director of DHS to identify and stop wasteful spending in the agencies I worked for, but in the end my local managers didn't want to report they could operate with $326,000 less, so I was directed to spend as much of it as possible during the last two months of the biennial period.

Get the picture?

Joe Turner

Columbia City

Contract Publishing

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