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Grants Pass Approves Gas Tax for Ballot, Voters to Decide

A tax on gasoline will head appear on ballots for Grants Pass voters in 2019, the City Council decided this week.

Posted: Feb 7, 2019 11:28 AM
Updated: Feb 7, 2019 6:06 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Voters in Grants Pass will decide the fate of a proposed gas tax this year, members of the City Council affirmed this week. Funds collected by the tax would help fund local infrastructure.

The City Council had their second reading of the resolution on Wednesday night, voting 5-1 in favor of adding the tax proposal to the ballot.

Rather than being a clear tax increase, the proposal would eliminate a flat "transportation utility fee" currently in effect that charges Grants Pass residents $3.59 per month. If approved, the 3 cents per-gallon gas tax would replace that utility fee.

According to the City's accounting, the tax is estimated to bring in $1,484,094 per year in revenue, based on annual fuel sales figures. The funds may only be used for construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation, and use of public highways, roads, streets, and roadside rest areas.

The existing transportation utility fee is projected to bring in $966,444 over 2019.

The average household uses 90 gallons of motor vehicle fuel per month. Under the tax, if implemented, the average household would spend approximately $2.70 per month in lieu of $3.59 per month under the transportation utility fee, while street maintenance funds would increase by approximately $500,000 per year.

On the May 2019 ballot, a "yes" vote would favor making the amendments. A "no" vote would be against making amendments.

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