Bad time for a gas tax?

You’ve been reading no doubt about the heavy gas prices increases around the country. (And we’ve been grimacing on our recent road excursions around the region.) And the headlines about – uh – $4/gallon gas.

Sounds like a less than ideal moment for a gas tax increase.

As they’re finding out in Eugene. There, the city has had a three-cent local gas tax recently upped to five cents. Except that on Wednesday the Oregon Petroleum Association showed up with petitions bearing, it said, 11,084 signatures. Enough presumably to send the issue to the primary election ballot May 20, and halt the increase in the meantime. And costing city road repair funds an estimated $1.3 million a year.

Transportation is a tough one.

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