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Bend gas tax proposal draws GOP opposition


Deschutes County Republicans announced Thursday their opposition to a proposed gas tax for the city of Bend, an item city councilors are considering placing on an upcoming ballot, citing the impact on working families, students and small businesses.

Local Republicans said are concerned about the effect raising taxes would have on citizens in the greater Bend area.

“Democrats in the Oregon Legislature already rammed through a hidden gas tax that will hurt working families all across Oregon and they’re considering raising the gas tax too,” said Deschutes Republicans Chair Reagan Knopp.

“The city of Bend shouldn’t pass a local gas tax.Lower and middle income residents wouldbe hit the hardest because more than 80% of these individuals commute to work. It would affect them significantly,” Knopp added.

“Wewould like to see a greater commitment from the city to a solution utilizing the new money in the current budget, instead of rushing a badidea directly to the ballot,” he added. “The gas tax will hurt working families, students, and small businesses the most. Deschutes Republicans stand with working families and local small businesses in saying no to the city gas tax.”

City councilors also have been considering a utility fee as another way to tackle an estimated $80 million backlog in street maintenance needs. A 5 cent a gallon gas tax would raise about $2.5 million a year, and the utility fee option could generate a similar amount.

Knopp confirmed that Deschutes Republicans would organize a significant grassroots effort against a local gas tax, if one appears on the ballot. Area fuel distributors previously declared their opposition as well.

“We’ve already started preparing for itto go to the ballot,” Knopp said. “This issuegives us the opportunity to engage many voters to fight for a better community by being involved in animportant, local issue.”

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