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Portland approves heavy truck tax ahead of Tuesday road fee vote

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Portland's City Council unanimously approved a new tax on heavy truck companies on Wednesday, May 11.

The measure is a companion to the gas tax ballot measure that voters will decide next week.

The city is trying to pass a temporary, 10 cent-a-gallon gas tax in Tuesday’s primary election.

Opponents pointed out that heavy trucks would effectively be exempt — because they could simply drive through town and fill up their tanks somewhere that didn’t have the tax.

But backers say the new tax would make trucks pay their "fair share" for road repairs.

Trucks already pay a weight-mile tax to the state. Portland will now add a 2.8 percent surcharge on top of that.

The new tax is expected to go into effect this September and generate about $2.5 million a year.

The money will go to for street repair and safety projects.