Primary voters favor Portland gas tax, metro homeless services

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Gas tax up for renewal, homeless services a new plan

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Unofficial results show Multnomah County voters have passed two tax measures in the May 19 primary: one to renew the Portland gas tax and the other to provide money for homeless services.

By 11:53 a.m. Wednesday, 58.22% had voted “yes” on supporting homeless services in the Portland metro area while 77.19% of voters were in favor of renewing the Portland gas tax (Measure 26-209).

In late February, the Metro Council approved Measure 26-210 for the May ballot — a 1% tax on a person making $125,000 per year or couples making $250,000 per year, as well as a 1% tax on businesses making more than $5 million a year.

Renew gas tax? Fund homeless services? Voters to decide

The measure is expected to provide $250 million a year to organizations that fight homelessness, Metro officials said.

For the past 4 years, the 10-cents-per-gallon fuel tax has fueled funding for Portland streets. Now it’s up for renewal as Measure 26-209.

These ballot measures are being decided during a pandemic that has seen unemployment skyrocket and uncertainty cut across all demographics. How voters react to spending more money right now will be revealed with the primary’s results.

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