Portland, Ore. — Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick are conducting a press conference about a proposed street fee to pay for maintenance and safety improvements citywide.
The duo have spent the past few weeks campaigning for the new funding mechanism that would raise up to $53 million per year for street improvements, sidewalks and safety work at dangerous intersections.
This ground had been breached before in 2008 by then-Commissioner Sam Adams, but the current incarnation is purported to raise more revenue and so, more expensive. Adam’s proposal was a 15-year plan that would’ve raised $454 million.
Chris Warner, Novick’s chief of staff, states that the proposed ordinance will be distributed publicly for the first time this morning. Hopefully, the information included in the document will confirm whether the fee will be $8 or $12 per month for homeowners, as Warner has refused to offer that information.
The Bureau of Transportation is expected to post a calculator on its website showing expected monthly bills, information that is of great interest to business owners. The city is moving too quickly on the street fee plan, according to the chamber of commerce.
Those affected are being given a grace peroid to adjust into next year, as Novick and Hales said last week that if enacted, the street fee would not go into effect until July 2015. On Wednesday, Novick staff said that small business owners (sole proprietors) that employ 10 or fewer workers would be credited for their monthly household bill and only be charged the higher business rate.