▶️ Bend’s proposed monthly transportation fee has residents asking questions


The City of Bend will hold its second roundtable on the proposed transportation fee on Wednesday. Residents who will have to pay that monthly fee have a lot of questions.

“I would just really like to know where the money is going to be going. Is it going to go directly into roads and sidewalks? I’m personally against just tacking on fees at whim of the city without putting it to a public vote,” Timothy Picerno said.

“If it’s going to really help you know, then yeah. But if it they’re going to add to it every time, it’s not gonna be nice,” Hajar Benghazala said.

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City of Bend Senior Policy Analyst Sarah Hutson says the city has received around a couple dozen comments and questions from the public since the first roundtable.

“We’ve received some clarifying questions. Why a transportation fee? Are other funding sources available? Some people kind of wondering about ‘OK. We passed a general obligation bond recently. Why can’t we use those funds?”‘ Hutson said.

That $190 million general obligation transportation bond was passed by voters in 2020. The city says those funds are in a separate pot of money, directed toward larger road construction projects such as the one on Neff Road and Purcell Boulevard.

This new fee is for road maintenance, such as street sweeping and pothole filling.

“If they’re really gonna do what they’re saying they’re gonna do, then I’ll vote for that,” another Bendite said.

The fee is not a new tax, so the Bend City Council can pass it without voter approval.

“I’m kind of against the city government just being able pass things at whim. Especially if it’s taking onto existing utilities. I think these measures need to be left up to voters,” Picerno said.

If approved, the fee will go into effect next summer.


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