Central OR cities to pursue transit system funding idea

Funding so far for existing mass transit options has come from a combination of sources

Oregon Senate
FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 photo, the Oregon Senate recites the Pledge of Allegiance prior to the 77th Oregon Legislature taking the oath of office in Salem, Ore. (Don Ryan, AP Photo)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Central Oregon governments want lawmakers to allow requests for property tax increases that would fund the area’s mass transit system.

The Bulletin reports state law stipulates that the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council cannot ask cities and voters to approve higher property taxes for the transit service covering three counties.

Funding so far has come from a combination of sources.

The city of Bend contributed $2.9 million for the system out of its 2015-2017 budget.

City Manager Eric King said that amount is unsustainable.

He said the goal is to create a sustainable system that recognizes the needs of the area’s far-flung communities.

Legislative attorneys are still drafting the proposal.

The 2017 legislative session starts Feb. 1.