PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Metro residents have voted “no” to a payroll tax measure designed to fund transportation projects in the region, according to results projected in Oregon’s Secretary of State’s website and organizers of Measure 26-218 having conceded to that outcome.
“While we are disappointed by the outcome of the election, members of our diverse and dedicated coalition are not deterred,” said Vivian Satterfield, Strategic Partnerships Director at Verde and campaign co-chair, in a written statement from the Yes on Measure 26-218 Campaign. “The community partners that shaped this package will continue to work together alongside partners in Metro and the region to ensure that the long overdue and critical investments in our region’s infrastructure are completed and long-awaited community programs are actualized.”
Metro’s $5.2 billion regional transportation ballot measure was intended to help fund projects in 17 transportation corridors in the region, including a new Southwest Corridor MAX line between Portland and Bridgeport Village just outside of Tualatin.
A coalition of regional mayors released a letter supporting the measure, but a group called Stop the Metro Wage Tax said the new 0.75% payroll tax that would be imposed on employers with more than 25 workers, would eliminate jobs and prevent new ones from being created. It also said only 3% of the projects are road improvements.
Ballotpedia said Measure 26-218:
A payroll tax to fund infrastructure and transportation projects is on the ballot for Portland Metro voters in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties in Oregon, on November 3, 2020.
A “yes” vote supports authorizing the Metro Council to impose a payroll tax not to exceed 0.75% on employers with 26 or more employees, excluding local governments, beginning in 2022 to fund infrastructure improvements and transportation programs.
A “no” vote opposes authorizing the Metro Council to impose a payroll tax not to exceed 0.75% on employers with 26 or more employees, excluding local governments, beginning in 2022 to fund infrastructure improvements and transportation programs.