PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT … IP-4
IP-4 … Vote Before tolls
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:
PARAGRAPH 1. The Constitution of the State of Oregon is amended by creating a new section 16 to be added to and made a part of Article IX, such section to read:
(1) A public body may not assess a toll on a highway in this state unless:
….(a) The toll was in operation before January 1, 2018; or
….(b) (A) A toll is proposed by a public body;
……….(B) The toll proposed by the public body is referred for approval or rejection to the electors of each county in this state that has a county border within a 15-mile radius of any section of highway proposed to be tolled; and
………(C) The toll proposed by the public body is approved by a majority of the total votes cast in the referral described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.
(2) As used in this section:
….(a) “Highway” means every public way, road, street, thoroughfare and place, including bridges, viaducts and other structures within the boundaries of this state, open, used or intended for use of the general public for vehicles or vehicular traffic as a matter of right.
….(b) “Public body” means a public body as defined by the laws of this state.
….(c) “Section of highway proposed to be tolled” means the portion of highway beginning at the highway exit before the first toll collection facility and ending at the highway exit after the last toll collection facility, as observed by the direction of vehicle travel on the highway.
….(d) “Toll” means any fee or charge for the use of a highway
….(e) “Toll collection facility” means any physical location at which a toll is charged to vehicles for using the highway, including a toll booth, toll plaza or electronic toll collection system.
….(f) (A) “Vehicle” means any device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway.
….……(B) “Vehicle” includes vehicles that are propelled or powered by any means.
Key Features of IP-4
- All tolls on any road or bridge are included
- Includes cars, trucks, and bicycles (yes, ODOT’s new taxing strategy can include bicycle tolls)
- A regional vote is required before any new toll, including the I-205 and I-5 tolls ODOT is currently working on. (IP-4 is retroactive to 1/1/2018)
- A “region” is defined as any county within 15 miles of any sector of road being tolled. This means Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah will be voting on any tolls in the greater tri-county Portland metro area (I-5, I-205, I-84, I-5 Columbia River Bridge, I-205 Columbia River Bridge (Sam Jackson))
- IP-4 moves the final decision on whether to create a new toll to the citizens by requiring a vote on these new taxes before they are implemented. IP-4 does not stop tolls – but the voting IP-4 requires might!
- With IP-4 in place, ODOT and other tolling agencies will have to be more informative and proactively transparent with regard to tolling goals, rates, use of funds, sunsetting, etc. if they expect the voter to pass a new toll.