Letters published Nov. 22, 2019
Public transit problem-solving
PROBLEM — HB2017 establishes transit tax but does not establish fair distribution of funds per ORS 316-162.
DISCUSSION — Transit tax is collected by employers and paid to fund public transit where the employer is located.
RECOMMENDATION — Fair distribution of transit tax revenue is needed to fund transit from employee's legal residence zip code to their place of employment location zip code. Therefore, transit tax should be divided equally 50/50 between zip codes.
Local counties should request a legislative amendment to resolve equal distribution by adding the following correction to ORS 316-162; "Funds generated from the Oregon Transit Tax via HB2017 to be divided equally between employee legal residence and place of employment location zip codes."
Currently, the Oregon Department of Transportation reports approximately 10,300 commuters to Portland and 13,400 commuters to Beaverton/Hillsboro through Cornelius Pass Road from Columbia County/Highway 30. Median yearly incomes for Portland are estimated to be $86,771 and Hillsboro to be $87,763.
At the current transit tax rate, transit tax is $153 for Portland and $155 for Hillsboro commuters, generating approximately $3.65 million in operating revenue for TriMet.
Fair share distribution would provide Columbia County approximately $1.83 million for operation and grant matching funds for CC Rider.
Therefore, a second transit tax on property is not needed.
Remembering Pearl Harbor
To memorialize the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that occurred on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, the Scappoose Fire Department will provide an emergency vehicle with a siren that will sound precisely at 7:55 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial in Scappoose's Heritage Park across from City Hall on Saturday morning, Dec 7.
It was at 7:55 a.m. when the surprise attack occurred in Hawaii that took 2,403 American lives. That attack precluded the declaration of war that President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed on Dec. 8, 1941.
World War II, both in the Pacific and European theaters of war, cost over 400,000 Americans their lives, with 607,000 wounded in those conflicts.
There is no ceremony scheduled and no speaker will attend, but members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4362 and others will assemble at the Veterans Memorial at 7:55 a.m., along with the emergency vehicle, to mark the moment of attack. The annual observance of this date is traditionally commemorated in this solemn manner.
Additional attendance at the memorial would be appreciated.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4362
Rallying support for Christmas meals
Boy Scout Troop 106, along with its charter organization American Legion Post 42, are once again providing full Christmas hot meals with toys for youth 12 years of age and younger. This will become their 33rd year serving Columbia County. The estimated number of hot meals to be delivered this year is 800.
The boys and girls are asking the wonderful people of Columbia County to lend a hand as there is a need for 50 turkeys and 24 full bone-in hams. A donation of either item is wonderful and could be dropped off at the Columbia Pacific Food Bank, located at 474 Milton Way, St. Helens. If the person donating would be interested in cooking a turkey or ham, that would be wonderful as we would then need the item on Dec. 24 between 1 and 4 p.m. There is also a need for toys from toddlers to youth of 12 years of age.
We do have many donors of monetary funds from many civic organizations within Columbia County; however, any extra funds will be used to serve the citizens of Columbia County in other ways, like wheelchair ramps, walkers and access to public buildings or trails within parks.
We would like to thank all the businesses within Columbia County that have helped this program grow over these three decades from one family to over 60 families. We take our hats off to all those who have spent their time helping physically, monetarily, with food, or containers to use for delivery.
Boy Scout Troop 106
and Cub Pack 106
COR American Legion Post 42
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