Is the proposed 13 cent gas tax a trial balloon? If it is, from the looks of the respondents on the internet, the public says a resounding no.

But just in case it is a real proposal, a few things to remember: The first gas tax for 2 cents proposed in 2005 for street repair was defeated. The then-city manager decided to raise the franchise fee from 5 percent to 7 percent, the state limit. This would have amounted to $555,000 this year.

The only problem with that was none of the increase ever made it to the street department. Can you see why people are not sure we can trust what has been proposed by the city?

The city of Pendleton did manage to pass two gas taxes, one for the overpass behind Walmart. This started out as a underpass and ended up as an expensive overpass. The other one was the notorious Road To Nowhere — who can forget that one? It passed with a small majority because of a threat to add the cost to our property taxes, which the city could not do.

There are other options to fund street repair. There are cuts that can be made and revenue sources that could be tapped without putting an undue burden on residents of Pendleton.

One I could support would be a $2 city fee on all events in Pendleton. I don’t think that much would keep anyone from going to the Round-Up or any other event.

Rex J. Morehouse


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