Transportation Committee talks employee payroll tax


Aaron Deas   The WEA Transportation Committee met with Trimet's Aaron Deas to talk about the payroll tax employees are paying statewide.
   This new funding mechanism, which came from the 2017 transportation package, will provide funding for public transportation services across the state.
   Deas said TriMet has already done a lot of community outreach to find out what the public is wanting, and at a broader level, there has also been input from the Oregon State Public Transportation Advisory Committee, other public transportation providers, and other interested stakeholders across the state.
 He said each region has unique needs and requests.
 For Trimet, Deas said the agency often thinks more service is the top priority, but customers have shared with its staff that pedestrian access, safety, and the condition of transit stops are important too.
   Deas estimates 24 percent of the funds Trimet receives from the employee paid payroll tax will go to a low income fare program; some will be used to transition away from diesel buses; some will help students get to school; and the rest will be dedicated to service.
   The first distribution from the new fund could come as early as April of next year. 
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