Press Releases

Jaime Herrera Beutler Vows to Protect Southwest Washington Commuters from Oregon-centered Tolling Scheme

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Washington, DC, July 20, 2017 | comments
Today, U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler sent a letter to Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Department of Transportation Director Matthew Garrett stating her opposition to any tolling proposal by the State of Oregon that would unfairly target Washington commuters on Interstate Highways 5 and 205.
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Today, U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler sent a letter to Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Department of Transportation Director Matthew Garrett stating her opposition to any tolling proposal by the State of Oregon that would unfairly target Washington commuters on Interstate Highways 5 and 205.

The text of the letter follows and a PDF version is available here.

Dear Governor Brown and Director Garrett:

It is my understanding that the State of Oregon is developing a plan that may include the imposition of tolls on Interstate Highways 5 and 205.  In the interest of avoiding any future conflict, I write to make my position clear.

I do not oppose the concept of a fee paid by the users of a resource and allocated toward the construction, maintenance or upkeep of that resource.  However, any attempt to levy tolls on I-5 or I-205 at the Washington State line, the lion's share of which would be paid by Washington commuters, in order to pay for infrastructure improvements south of Portland that would rarely be used by the vast majority of those paying the tolls, would be unfair in the extreme.  Oregon has no right to make Southwest Washington an unwilling piggy bank for Oregon's infrastructure projects.

Since both I-5 and I-205 are Interstate Highways, there is a federal interest.  As a Member of Congress, I will defend Southwest Washington residents from any unfair tolling plan using every appropriate means at my disposal.

Sincerely,

Jaime

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