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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Clackistani rebellion nicks the rest of us

When the tiny burg of Boring withdrew from the fiasco known as Tri-Met, we all said, bully for them. But did you know that it caused everyone else's hideous Tri-Met taxes to increase a little?

Effective January 1, 2013, the tax rate increased to 0.7137% ($7.137 per $1,000) of the wages paid by an employer and the net earnings from self-employment for services performed within the TriMet District boundary....

The 2003 Oregon Legislature provided TriMet with the authority to increase the rate over 10 years to help pay for new transit service throughout the region. The rate increases annually by 1/100 of a percent. This year the payroll tax rate was increased an additional 0.001095 percent due to the withdrawal of the Boring area from the TriMet District effective January 1, 2013.

If you work in the Tri-Met district and make $50,000 a year, the Boring withdrawal cost you or your boss 55 cents. The annual basic jackup by Tri-Met was $5.

Comments (12)

Freedom isn't free!

I'm surprised there hasn't been a public flogging to discourage further desertions.

I am surprised that neighborhoods treated shabbily haven't started to sucede from the city. St. Johns for example, I believe was a city before Portland, they should take their ownership/power back. East Portland should consider making their own decisions. In some cases it would be difficult to undo damage by city policies, but why continue when abused?

Somethings wrong here. Since TriMet doesn't have to serve the spread-out country/suburbia of Boring anymore, then the net effect should be less cost to us taxpayers. I guess the economic classes some of us had are meaningless around here.

lw... the collective! Remember the greater good. Vladimir and Karl! ...and of course, OPM.

There is more on the should be less cost to us taxpayers, but for some reason. . .

Why are our schools last I heard paying five times as much for water use than a corporation using our water at our well fields, and is one of the largest users of our water apparently using our water for their world wide testing on UV plants?

It makes sense for small or outlying communities to withdraw from Trimet. With service in these areas so poor, in many cases communities can take care of local transportation needs better themselves.

The state statute authorizing communities to leave the TM district also allows TM to raise the tax rate on the rest of the prisoners. So one of the things the legislature needs to do in 2013 is to make it much easier for communities to leave, and to prevent TM from just sticking everyone else with the bill.

TriMet has to shrink in order to save itself, and the payroll tax rate should start going down, not up.

Any city or community should free to leave TriMet, or any other special service district, with nothing more than a simple vote of its citizens.

I always thought government operated with the consent of the people; not people act with the consent of government.

Thank you Erik.

I agree with Erik's sentiment. We are stuck in the following TriMet cycle:

A. Promote financially unsustainable rail projects

B. Cut bus service to stimulate/justify "rail demand"

C. Raise taxes/cut add'l bus service to cover losses

D. Repeat

To all sober observers, this cycle has been a clearly marked road to insolvency. Unless communities within TriMet's service district are allowed to leave, this pattern will continue until the only options left are bailouts or bankruptcy court.

The cities of Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, West Linn, Rivergrove and Durham could very easily combine with Wilsonville, split from TriMet (as Wilsonville was the first to do) and its over 100,000 residents would be served by a much better SMART bus system. (And be free to shut down WES.) Lake Oswego, with its new and improved City Council, could also join in.

Hillsboro has long done its own thing, it too could breakaway taking Forest Grove and Cornelius with it, but as a concession agree to help fund its share of MAX west of 185th Avenue - this would be close to 150,000 residents.

Troutdale, Wood Village and Fairview could also split, and possibly Gresham as well. Like Hillsboro Gresham would probably have to chip in for MAX east of 162nd Avenue - here's another 150,000 or so residents.

Oregon City and Gladstone could go their own way, or join SMART. They could also potentially take in Happy Valley. (about 75,000 residents.) Estacada would likely go their own way.

That would leave Portland, Beaverton (which is barely a city itself), Aloha (which doesn't really know what it wants) and Milwaukie (whose TriMet staffed City Council is just a love fest for its friends just north of the city line on 17th and Center). However, Portland would no longer have full control of the regional transportation funding pot, and light rail and Streetcar expansion would be a thing of the past. Unless the city decided it would rather have Streetcars over other basic services, like police and fire protection.

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