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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Trimet tax grab analysis

Hint, when the CRC cabal supports a TriMet Bill beware.  Details below. 

News Flash!!!!  TriMmet is not an advocate for road or freeway projects.    


When TriMet thought no one was paying attention they submitted written testimony telling the truth about SB1510.

Contrary to TriMet's new fallacious fact sheet the bill lists 4 funding types to be handed over for TriMet's use. 

SB 1510 B, Line 12 page 3: 
(A) Funds that are reserved by Article IX, section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution, for the purpose of financing the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of public highways, roads, streets and roadside rest areas;


Those are funds are routine gas taxes and vehicle registration fees.  

More about SB 1510B:














TriMet and Metro have NO FUNDING for their 3 top priority regional projects. They are all Transit projects.

The failed CRC, Columbia River Crossing w/ Light Rail; 
SW Corridor/I-5 with the soon to be chosen light rail preferred alternative; 
And the SE Portland to Gresham Bus Rapid Transit.

None of which are needed, wanted or approved by voters and taxpayers.  

Again, when TriMet thought no one was paying attention they submitted written testimony telling the truth about SB1510.
It's all about transit.       https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/86770

SB1510 will authorize TriMet to assume the role of ODOT and the legislature in directing Gas Taxes and Vehicle Registration Fees to their priorities involving road projects most related to their unfunded and unwanted transit projects. 

SB1510 will authorized TriMet to use new types of funding, new intergovernmental agreements, open ended borrowing and avoid legislative approval to fund their transit projects voters DO NOT  and WILL NOT support.  

SB1510 hands over new funding means to TriMet:   https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1/Measures/Overview/SB1510


(b) The district may expend only the following funds for construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of the secondary transit supportive system:
(A) Funds that are reserved by Article IX, section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution, for the purpose of financing the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of public highways, roads, streets and roadside rest areas;          (B) Proceeds of general obligation bonds approved by voters under ORS 267.330;  (C) Grants or contributions; and 

(D) Proceeds of bonds issued under ORS 267.335 that are subject to a reimbursement agreement




This legislation will be harmful to the region by allowing TriMet and Metro to divert funding to their objectives at the expense of the region's far more important freeway, bridge and other arterial needs.

In that written testimony TriMet made it clear that their transit priorities are the intended purpose of SB1510B.
They are not the region's or the voters priorities by any objective measurement.  

Choke points and congestion are worsening throughout the region. We can't place at the head of the funding line any more transit investments that will further delay our road capacity and commerce mobility projects. 

Again, TriMet and Metro have three unfunded transit projects either in near complete or in advanced stages of planning.  


These are the only transportation projects in the Portland Oregon region at any advanced stage of planning.


There are only two transportation bills in the short session. 
SB 1521 if approved it would authorize the un-elected TriMet board to impose a new income withholding tax on all employee paychecks throughout their tri-county jurisdiction.  It would have given TriMet a new revenue stream worth billions in borrowing capacity.
That bill appears to be dead. 

SB 1510B is a blind authorization for TriMet & Metro to engage in backroom chicanery to pay for projects the region does not need and voters do not want. 



SB 1521  Taxation Without Representation
Most people would object to any new TriMet income tax being imposed without a public vote. 
In this case it is even more offensive for a very good reason. 
If the bill is passed, allowing TriMet to by-pass their current voter approval requirement it will be done so by a politically appointed TriMet board resulting in Taxation without Representation. 
No one at TriMet is an elected representation. The board is appointed by the governor. 
Former Governor Kitzhaber appointed several current members. 
For that reason alone the legislature should not give the politically appointed board the authority to by-pass their voters and enact a new tax. 
 Clackamas County commission opposes 1521 and did not know until recently about 1510 which they now oppose as well.   
  TriMet's last levy in 2010 was voted down by 2-1 in Clackamas County.

The legislature will be handing over the authority over the CRC.


These 2 bills combined would allow TriMet to self finance and fund the entirety of the CRC/Light Rail local match share including financing and spending on the Washington state/C-Tran side.   


1521 is a voter-evasion bill that would grant the un-elected TriMet board the authority to enact a new income tax on every employee in their district. 
Starting at $71 million per year and growing as payroll does it would provide a new revenue stream worth billions in borrowing capacity.
Needless to say there is sizable opposition including the Clackamas County Commission unanimously objecting.   





Port of Portland (insinuating the CRC/Light Rail)


February 10, 2016 
Dear Chair Beyer, Vice-Chair Girod, Senator Monroe, Senator Riley, and Senator Thomsen, 

The Port of Portland is pleased to support HB 1510 allowing TriMet to provide another important avenue to fund much needed transportation investments, including roads, active transportation projects and transit projects, within our growing region. There is new momentum around a regional funding proposalfor transportation and this bill would provide our regional transit agency additional flexibility on the types of transportation facilities eligible for investment, including roads and bridges serving our critical freight facilities, employment centers and industrial parks. The Port is pleased to support this bill along with a diverse set of stakeholders in the metro region. 

Thank you for your consideration. 
Sincerely, 
Kathryn Kathryn Williams 
State Affairs Manager, Port of Portland 
503.415.6018 office 503.860.5455 mobile 


CRC Cartel supports 1510 TriMet Aamendment  

Please support Senate Bill 1510 
Regional conversations are under way regarding how to finance investments to address the transportation needs of the Portland metropolitan area.Senate Bill 1510 would provide another tool to help fund future transportation projects that would help address congestion, freight bottlenecks, and transit needs, and improve access to jobs in the larger metropolitan regions. 
Questions: Contact Aaron Deas at deasa@trimet.org or (503) 888-5067

Portland Business Alliance
Columbia Corridor Association
Westside Economic Alliance
TriMet
Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council
Washington County
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Here is the full text of TriMet's original written testimony when they thought no one was paying attention.

Below that is the legislative counsel opinion.



There should be no doubt that if TriMet is given any of ODOT's authority to direct road funding they will direct it to transit related road projects. 





Testimony of Bernie Bottom[y 
Executive Director, Public Policy 
TriMet 
Senate Committee on Business &Transportation 
February 8,2016 
SB 1510


Thank you for the opportunity to speak in support of SB 1510. The purpose of this bill is to modestly 
expand the list of tools that TriMet has that it can use to help the Portland metropolitan region address 
its transit and transportation challenges. 

As our metropolitan transportation system grows in complexity and as congestion pressures increase, 
more and more we find that the development and funding of transit and transit-supportive projects 
requires that we take a system-wide, multi-modal approach to addressing these challenges that may 
include sidewalks, bike facilities, and roadways as we/I as transit improvements. This language would 
give TriMet the necessary authority to seek grants and other outside funding that facilitate multimodal 
solutions and allow us to address a wider variety of transit-supportive transportation needs to achieve 
broadly supported community objectives. 

In the current statute, TriMet is authorized to invest in a wide variety of transportation facilities where it 
operates, including sidewalks, roads, highways and bike paths. However, TriMet is restricted from 
spending funds on transportation facilities on which it does not physically operate, unless the funds are 
restricted by the Oregon Constitution to road purposes. 

Because TriMet does not generate constitutionally restricted revenues nor does it often receive such 
funds, this restriction limits TriMet's ability to partner with local and regional jurisdictions to address 
some of the transportation challenges facing the region. For example, TriMet has the ability to use its 
favorable AAA bond rating to borrow against future federal formula payments-allowing the region to 
progress important projects now, reduce the cost escalations that come with inflation and defederalize 
the funds-increasing the buying power of federal grant funds significantly by removing burdensome 
reporting and bureaucratic requirements. 

TriMet has a long record of success in securing federal funding grants to support regional transportation 
improvement projects. This language would allow us to take more of a systems approach to improving 
the transit and transit supportive system with those grants. For example, there are sometimes 
improvements to sidewalks or bike routes that, while not directly on a transit route, nevertheless 
materially support the use of the transit system. Currently, TriMet cannot participate in efforts to 
address these gaps in the system. This bill would allow us to expand the potential beneficiaries of these 
federal funding opportunities to the broader system, not just the portion of the system we are currently 
operating on.

The language is carefully drafted to limit this expanded authority to very specific external funding 
sources proceeds of general obligation bonds approved by voters, grants or contributions from external 
sources, or revenue bonds that are subject to a reimbursement agreement. The change does not 
expand TriMet's authority to expend its general operating resources such as the payroll tax beyond its 
current authorities. 

The bill does not impact TriMet's operating resources or divert funds away from delivery of bus or light 

rail services. However, it will give us an additional tool to work cooperatively with our local and regional 
partners to address a wider range of the region's system-wide transportation challenges. 

We urge your support for SB 1510. Thank you for your consideration of this proposal. I'd be happy to 

answer any questions.

The bill allows a vast expansion of spending in Clark County. 









TriMet is currently providing Transit managerial service in Clark County 



The Legislative Counsel Opinion confirmed that SB1510 would allow TriMet to spend 4 additional fund types on the CRC in Clark County.



All they would need is be providing service to Clark County. 






Legislative Counsel opinion- excerpt:


"2. Does SB 1510-A authorize TriMet to pay for transportation infrastructure in Clark County, Washington? 


SB 1510-A authorizes a mass transit district to use funds from an expanded set of sources on the secondary transit supportive system, which includes surface transportation infrastructure in any county in which the mass transit district operates.

The worst of SB 1510 is the blind granting of authority for TriMet to use a platter of additional funding types without any indication of what funding sources they intend to raid or what projects they could use it for. 

SB 1510A will allow TriMet to work out back room deals and intergovernmental agreements committing all sorts of unnamed revenue sources to TriMet and Metro projects. 

First in line are the many components the CRC, SW Corridor Light Rail and Powell/Division BRT first in line. 

There is nothing in this bill specifying any funding for any I-205 improvement or any other road project.







TriMet has not disputed anything in the LC Opinion or denied that the expanded funding sources can be used in Clark County. 

In responding to 1510 opponents TriMet has used a straw man to mislead legislators.    
TriMet,  "The bill does not expand TriMet's bonding authority"

No one claimed it did.   Currently, TriMet is greatly restricted on what funds it can use. See LC opinion and 1510 below.
The issue is how SB 1510 authorizes TriMet to "use funds from an expanded set of sources".

SB 1510 A greatly expands what funds TriMet can use on the CRC should they provide any transit service to Clark 




SB 1510 A adds these funding types TriMet can spend in Clark County. 


(A) Funds that are reserved by Article IX, section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution,               

(B) Proceeds of general obligation bonds approved by voters under ORS 267.330;             

(C) Grants or contributions; and                                                                                                           
(D) Proceeds of bonds issued under ORS 267.335 that are subject to a reimbursement agreement

Article IX, section 3a, are Vehicle registration fees and gas taxes.
Grants or contributions can be federal grants, matching funds, JPACT grants etc.   
Bonds subject to reimbursement can be an intergovernmental agreement with C-Tran for the CRC. 
STATE OF OREGON LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL COMMITTEE 
February 18, 2016 
Representative Julie Parrish 
900 Court Street NE H371 
Salem OR 97301 
Re: Whether A-engrossed SB 1510 authorizes construction in Clark County, Washington 

Dear Representative Parrish: 
You asked several questions about A-engrossed Senate Bill 1510. 
Your questions and our answers are set forth below. 

1. What are the effects of the amendments to ORS 267.300 by section 2 of SB 1510-A? 
Section 2 of SB 1510-A amends ORS 267.300, which relates to expenditures by mass transit districts. Currently, ORS 267.300 provides that a mass transit district may finance secondary transit supportive system improvements only with constitutionally dedicated moneys. SB 1510-A, if enacted, would authorize mass transit districts to finance secondary transit supportive system improvements with general obligation bond proceeds, grant moneys or revenue bond proceeds for which the district will be reimbursed by a third party.

The distinction between primary and secondary transit supportive systems is described in ORS 267.300 (3). The primary transit supportive system is the surface transportation infrastructure on which, or adjacent to which, a mass transit district physically operates. This would include, for example, streetcar tracks or the roads on which buses run. The secondary transit supportive system is all other surface transportation infrastructure located in a county in which the mass transit district operates. This would include, for example, roads, sidewalks, transit stations and parking lots anywhere in the county. 

Note that the addition of the words “improvement,” “repair” and “maintenance” to subsection (2)(b)(A) of ORS 267.300 is not a substantive change in law. The words are amended into the statute merely to conform to Article IX, section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution, which reserves certain tax revenues for the exclusive purpose of “construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of public highways, roads, streets and roadside rest areas in this state” (emphasis added). 

2. Does SB 1510-A authorize TriMet to pay for transportation infrastructure in Clark County, Washington? 
SB 1510-A authorizes a mass transit district to use funds from an expanded set of sources on the secondary transit supportive system, which includes surface transportation infrastructure in any county in which the mass transit district operates. Therefore, the question of whether TriMet1 would be allowed to use funds from those sources for improvements in Clark County turns on whether TriMet operates in Clark County. 1 TriMet is the mass transit district operating in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties. Representative Julie Parrish February 18, 2016 Page 2 k:\oprr\17\lc0206 dfy.docx 
According to Aaron Deas, a government affairs manager at TriMet, TriMet does not currently operate in Clark County. Note that TriMet can and does operate outside of its district boundaries, 2 although certain agreements are required before it may do so. TriMet has run buses to Clark County in the past. 
You noted that a website for the City of Vancouver states that the Vancouver downtown area is served by TriMet.3 However, that website indicates that TriMet carries riders to Delta Park or Jantzen Beach, and buses operated by C-Tran (the Clark County mass transit agency) connect from those locations to downtown Vancouver. Both Delta Park and Jantzen Beach are within Multnomah County. 
Since TriMet does not currently operate in Clark County, we conclude that SB 1510-A does not, under current circumstances, permit expenditures by TriMet on surface transportation infrastructure in Clark County. 

3. If the Columbia River Crossing had been built, would TriMet have operated in Clark County? 
Although plans for the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) were subject to change, project documents show that TriMet planned to construct and operate a light rail extension that would have served several locations in Clark County.4 Thus, if the CRC had been built according to those plans, TriMet would operate in Clark County. It follows from our answer to Question 2 that if the CRC had been built and SB 1510-A is enacted, TriMet would be authorized to finance surface transportation infrastructure in Clark County using moneys from an expanded set of sources. 
The opinions written by the Legislative Counsel and the staff of the Legislative Counsel’s office are prepared solely for the purpose of assisting members of the Legislative Assembly in the development and consideration of legislative matters. In performing their duties, the Legislative Counsel and the members of the staff of the Legislative Counsel’s office have no authority to provide legal advice to any other person, group or entity. For this reason, this opinion should not be considered or used as legal advice by any person other than legislators in the conduct of legislative business. Public bodies and their officers and employees should seek and rely upon the advice and opinion of the Attorney General, district attorney, county counsel, city attorney or other retained counsel. Constituents and other private persons and entities should seek and rely upon the advice and opinion of private counsel.
Very truly yours, 
DEXTER A. JOHNSON 
Legislative Counsel By David Fang-Yen 
Deputy Legislative Counsel 2 




2016   SB1510A

NOTE: Matter in boldfaced type in an amended section is new; matter [italic and bracketed] is existing law to be omitted. New sections are in boldfaced type.

TRANSIT 

SECTION 4. ORS 267.300 is amended to read: 
267.300. (1) Subject to restrictions in the Oregon Constitution, a district board may finance construction, acquisition, purchase, lease, operation and maintenance of a mass transit system and related facilities for the purposes authorized under ORS 267.010 to 267.390 by: 
(a) Levy of ad valorem taxes under ORS 267.305. 
(b) Service charges and user fees collected under ORS 267.320. 
(c) Use of the revolving fund authorized under ORS 267.310. 
(d) Sale of bonds under ORS 267.330 to 267.345. 
(e) Levy of business license fees under ORS 267.360. 
(f) Levy of a tax measured by net income under ORS 267.370
(g) Levy of a tax measured by employer payrolls under ORS 267.380, 267.385 and 267.420. 
(h) Use of funds accepted under ORS 267.390. 
(i) Short-term borrowings under ORS 267.400.   
(j) Levy of a tax measured by net earnings from self-employment under ORS 267.380 and 267.385. 
(k) Any combination of the provisions of paragraphs (a) to  
(j) of this subsection.
(2)(a) All or any part of the funds raised or received by the district under subsection (1)(a) to (k) of this section may be expended by the district for the purpose of financing the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of the primary transit supportive system. [However, only those funds raised or received by the district that are restricted by]
  (b) The district may expend only the following funds for construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of the secondary transit supportive system:
(A) Funds that are reserved by Article IX, section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution, for the purpose of financing the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of public highways, roads, streets and roadside rest areas; [may be expended by the district for the secondary transit supportive system.] 
(B) Proceeds of general obligation bonds approved by voters under ORS 267.330; 
(C) Grants or contributions; and 
(D) Proceeds of bonds issued under ORS 267.335 that are subject to a reimbursement agreement
(3) As used in this [subsection] section:
 [(a) “Transit supportive system” means those facilities in any county in which a district operates that constitute the surface transportation system in the county, including highways, roads, streets, roadside rest areas, park-and-ride stations, transfer stations, parking lots, malls and skyways.]
[(b)] (a) “Primary transit supportive system” means [those facilities] the parts of a transit supportive system upon which or adjacent to which the district physically operates.         
(b) “Reimbursement agreement” means a legally binding agreement between the district and another party that requires that party to reimburse the district for the district’s expenditure of the funds subject to the agreement.
   (c) “Secondary transit supportive system” means [the remainder of those facilities that constitute the surface transportation system, but over which the district’s operation or facilities are not physically present] the parts of a transit supportive system that are not included in the primary transit supportive system
(d) “Transit supportive system” means those facilities in any county in which a district operates that constitute the surface transportation system in the county, including but not limited to highways, roads, streets, roadside rest areas, park-and-ride stations, transfer stations, parking lots, malls and skyways. 


Definitions:
(A) Funds that are reserved by Article IX, section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution,
ARTICLE IX  FINANCE
3a. Use of revenue from taxes on motor vehicle use and fuel; legislative review of allocation of taxes between vehicle class


As we all know we don't a transportation package bill in this short session.


So all of our roads, bridges, congestion and commerce mobility will have to wait until next year. 
But TriMet can't wait?

  


What is this TriMet 1510 that can't wait, with our roads, for next year?


What is this Bill for? 






If you believe what TriMet said in written testimony submitted Feb 8th at the original hearing, it's all about Transit. 

Here is what they wrote. 







Testimony of Bernie Bottom[y 






Executive Director, Public Policy 






TriMet 






Senate Committee on Business &Transportation 






February 8,2016 






SB 1510












Thank you for the opportunity to speak in support of SB 1510. The purpose of this bill is to modestly 





expand the list of tools that TriMet has that it can use to help the Portland metropolitan region address 





its transit and transportation challenges. 











As our metropolitan transportation system grows in complexity and as congestion pressures increase, 





more and more we find that the development and funding of transit and transit-supportive projects 





requires that we take a system-wide, multi-modal approach to addressing these challenges that may 





include sidewalks, bike facilities, and roadways as we/I as transit improvements. This language would 





give TriMet the necessary authority to seek grants and other outside funding that facilitate multimodal 





solutions and allow us to address a wider variety of transit-supportive transportation needs to achieve 





broadly supported community objectives. 











In the current statute, TriMet is authorized to invest in a wide variety of transportation facilities where it 





operates, including sidewalks, roads, highways and bike paths. However, TriMet is restricted from 





spending funds on transportation facilities on which it does not physically operate, unless the funds are 





restricted by the Oregon Constitution to road purposes. 











Because TriMet does not generate constitutionally restricted revenues nor does it often receive such 





funds, this restriction limits TriMet's ability to partner with local and regional jurisdictions to address 





some of the transportation challenges facing the region. For example, TriMet has the ability to use its 





favorable AAA bond rating to borrow against future federal formula payments-allowing the region to 





progress important projects now, reduce the cost escalations that come with inflation and defederalize 





the funds-increasing the buying power of federal grant funds significantly by removing burdensome 





reporting and bureaucratic requirements. 











TriMet has a long record of success in securing federal funding grants to support regional transportation 





improvement projects. This language would allow us to take more of a systems approach to improving 





the transit and transit supportive system with those grants. For example, there are sometimes 





improvements to sidewalks or bike routes that, while not directly on a transit route, nevertheless 





materially support the use of the transit system. Currently, TriMet cannot participate in efforts to 





address these gaps in the system. This bill would allow us to expand the potential beneficiaries of these 





federal funding opportunities to the broader system, not just the portion of the system we are currently 





operating on.











The language is carefully drafted to limit this expanded authority to very specific external funding 





sources proceeds of general obligation bonds approved by voters, grants or contributions from external 





sources, or revenue bonds that are subject to a reimbursement agreement. The change does not 





expand TriMet's authority to expend its general operating resources such as the payroll tax beyond its 





current authorities. 











The bill does not impact TriMet's operating resources or divert funds away from delivery of bus or light 





rail services. However, it will give us an additional tool to work cooperatively with our local and regional 





partners to address a wider range of the region's system-wide transportation challenges. 











We urge your support for SB 1510. Thank you for your consideration of this proposal. I'd be happy to 





answer any questions."










Ok it's pretty clear that TriMet wants more ways to direct more funding types to their stuff.










 development and funding of transit and transit-supportive projects 










for a            a system-wide, multi-modal approach .......may 









include sidewalks, bike facilities, and roadways as we/I as transit improvements. 
 it's authority to seek grants and other outside funding that facilitate multimodal 









solutions and allow us to address a wider variety of transit-supportive transportation needs 






The only mention of roads or freeways is the single use of "roadways" in a string of transit-supportive projects.

Along with sidewalks, bike facilities and transit itself.












So where's the beef? Where are the "freeway" projects TriMet is now claiming this bill is for? 

Where in the bill can TriMet's new story line with "217, I-205 w Abernathy bridge and I-5/84 Rose quarter" be found?

No where. So this is not a road or freeway Bill. 

It's a Transit Bill for a Transit Agency, who does Transit.     Not roads.   

Remember roads have to wait for a transportation package in the 2017 session.

So now that we are clear about what the Bill is for, "Transit and transit related projects",
.........what is it that TriMet wants? 

1510 says TriMet will get to use 4 additional funding types for their projects.
Here they are:





 SB 1510 A adds these funding types TriMet can spend in Clark County. 









(A) Funds that are reserved by Article IX, section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution,               




(B) Proceeds of general obligation bonds approved by voters under ORS 267.330;             




(C) Grants or contributions; and                                                                                                           




(D) Proceeds of bonds issued under ORS 267.335 that are subject to a reimbursement agreement
What are these?






"Article IX, section 3a,  of the constitution" says these are Vehicle registration fees and gas taxes restricted to "the purpose of financing the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of public highways, roads, streets and roadside rest areas; .




"Bonds approved by voters is clear enough, but does TriMet really think voters will approve any bond levies for their projects? LOL?
Grants or contributions can be federal grants, matching funds, JPACT grants etc.   




Bonds subject to reimbursement can be an intergovernmental agreement with C-Tran for the CRC. 







Ok so those are pretty clear.

But what is TriMet intending on doing?
Are we supposed to give them 4 additional ways for them to direct funding to their projects without knowing what they are for? 
Are we to believe their original transit purpose or their new tall tale of freeway projects?
Many people are concerned because 1510 will provide TriMet more ways to fund transit and and transit supportive projects in Clark County.
TriMet is currently providing Transit Managerial Service to Clark County so already have the authority to build there. 

So it is clear this Bill allows a vast expansion of spending in Clark County. 
The Legislative Counsel agrees. 




Legislative Counsel opinion- excerpt:


"2. Does SB 1510-A authorize TriMet to pay for transportation infrastructure in Clark County, Washington? 


SB 1510-A authorizes a mass transit district to use funds from an expanded set of sources on the secondary transit supportive system, which includes surface transportation infrastructure in any county in which the mass transit district operates.


TriMet is operating in Clark County. 





TriMet has not disputed anything in the LC Opinion or denied that the expanded funding sources can be used in Clark County. 









In responding to critics TriMet has used a straw man to mislead legislators.    









TriMet,  "The bill does not expand TriMet's bonding authority"









No one claimed it did.

What is this Bill for?

TriMet and Metro have NO FUNDING for their 3 top priority regional projects. They are all Transit projects needing SB 1510.

The failed CRC, Columbia River Crossing w/ Light Rail; 
SW Corridor/I-5 with the soon to be chosen light rail preferred alternative; 
And the SE Portland to Gresham Bus Rapid Transit.

None of which are needed, wanted or approved by voters and taxpayers.  
Does TriMet or Metro have any freeway or road project plans ready?   
Of course not. That's not what they do. 

SB1510 will authorize TriMet to assume the role of ODOT and the legislature in directing Gas Taxes and Vehicle Registration Fees to their priorities involving road projects most related to their unfunded and unwanted transit projects. 

SB1510 will authorized TriMet to use new types and sources of funding, new intergovernmental agreements, open ended borrowing and avoid legislative approval to fund their transit projects voters DO NOT and WILL NOT support.  
   

Why is TriMet telling the legislature this bill is for freeways?

1.  TriMet and Metro have gotten head transplants and they are freeway agencies. 

or
2.  They are lying to cover up their real intentions which they submitted in testimony on Feb 8th. 


Senate Bill 1510B is an anti-road bill that will allow TriMet to act as a regional ODOT
and direct road road money to transit related road projects ahead of raod priorites.

Vote No on SB1510 and make Trimet wait with roads and bridges for 2017. 




2016   SB1510A

NOTE: Matter in boldfaced type in an amended section is new; matter [italic and bracketed] is existing law to be omitted. New sections are in boldfaced type.

TRANSIT 

SECTION 4. ORS 267.300 is amended to read: 
267.300. (1) Subject to restrictions in the Oregon Constitution, a district board may finance construction, acquisition, purchase, lease, operation and maintenance of a mass transit system and related facilities for the purposes authorized under ORS 267.010 to 267.390 by: 
(a) Levy of ad valorem taxes under ORS 267.305. 
(b) Service charges and user fees collected under ORS 267.320. 
(c) Use of the revolving fund authorized under ORS 267.310. 
(d) Sale of bonds under ORS 267.330 to 267.345. 
(e) Levy of business license fees under ORS 267.360. 
(f) Levy of a tax measured by net income under ORS 267.370
(g) Levy of a tax measured by employer payrolls under ORS 267.380, 267.385 and 267.420. 
(h) Use of funds accepted under ORS 267.390. 
(i) Short-term borrowings under ORS 267.400.   
(j) Levy of a tax measured by net earnings from self-employment under ORS 267.380 and 267.385. 
(k) Any combination of the provisions of paragraphs (a) to  
(j) of this subsection.
(2)(a) All or any part of the funds raised or received by the district under subsection (1)(a) to (k) of this section may be expended by the district for the purpose of financing the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of the primary transit supportive system. [However, only those funds raised or received by the district that are restricted by]
  (b) The district may expend only the following funds for construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of the secondary transit supportive system:
(A) Funds that are reserved by Article IX, section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution, for the purpose of financing the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of public highways, roads, streets and roadside rest areas; [may be expended by the district for the secondary transit supportive system.] 
(B) Proceeds of general obligation bonds approved by voters under ORS 267.330; 
(C) Grants or contributions; and 
(D) Proceeds of bonds issued under ORS 267.335 that are subject to a reimbursement agreement
(3) As used in this [subsection] section:
 [(a) “Transit supportive system” means those facilities in any county in which a district operates that constitute the surface transportation system in the county, including highways, roads, streets, roadside rest areas, park-and-ride stations, transfer stations, parking lots, malls and skyways.]
[(b)] (a) “Primary transit supportive system” means [those facilities] the parts of a transit supportive system upon which or adjacent to which the district physically operates.         
(b) “Reimbursement agreement” means a legally binding agreement between the district and another party that requires that party to reimburse the district for the district’s expenditure of the funds subject to the agreement.
   (c) “Secondary transit supportive system” means [the remainder of those facilities that constitute the surface transportation system, but over which the district’s operation or facilities are not physically present] the parts of a transit supportive system that are not included in the primary transit supportive system
(d) “Transit supportive system” means those facilities in any county in which a district operates that constitute the surface transportation system in the county, including but not limited to highways, roads, streets, roadside rest areas, park-and-ride stations, transfer stations, parking lots, malls and skyways. 


Definitions:
(A) Funds that are reserved by Article IX, section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution,
ARTICLE IX  FINANCE
3a. Use of revenue from taxes on motor vehicle use and fuel; legislative review of allocation of taxes between vehicle classes


3 comments:

Al M said...

The highly skilled technocrats at Trimet know they have a state legislature that is sympathetic to the so called "light rail mafia".

The "light rail mafia" is in reality a consortium of various contractors, Stacy&Witbeck which is the most obvious example.

This is called "crony capitalism" to many of us. Getting government or tax money to feed these particular interests. Trimet is the funnel through which the funds flow.

Henry Beasley said...

In the last go round, the CRC would have cost $250 or $350 million per mile. That would have been the most expensive Light Rail ever.
HB

Jason McHuff said...

It seems pretty reasonable. For example, ODOT could use its funding to improve Powell Blvd while TriMet builds the BRT line, and do it as part of the same project.

That being said, funding without accountability is allowing trouble to happen. I would absolutely insist that having the TriMet board be appointed by the Metro board (which is regionally elected) be a part of this bill.