Recorded on: April 10, 2015
Air Date: April 13, 2015
Almost half of the land in Lane County is under the control of the U.S. Forest Service, which means that none of that land is on the county’s property tax roll. When logging was a major industry here, Forest Service land generated hundreds of millions of dollars. The federal government provided tens of millions of dollars directly the county as compensation for supporting services to land that did not otherwise contribute to the county treasury.
Lane County used the federal funds for a variety of purposes, including road maintenance. That historical source of funds has declined substantially, from almost $22 million in 2007 to about $600,000 in 2015. Current revenues cannot keep up with the maintenance requirements of the county’s 1447 miles of roads, 415 bridges, and its traffic signals and storm water systems.
The county commission unanimously referred Measure 20-231 to the May ballot to address the substantial deficit in the County Road Fund. If voters approve the measure, residents will pay an annual vehicle registration fee of $35 for passenger cars. Commissioners anticipate raising about $11 million annually, all of it to be used specifically for road purposes. About $4.4 million of that would be distributed to cities in the county, with the County Road Fund receiving the remaining $6.6 million.
copyright, 2015 KLCC