City Commissioner Steve Novick says he'll try to pass a compromise version of the proposed street fee to fund city transportation projects that would charge households by levels of estimated gasoline consumption.
Novick warns that if City Council or voters reject that plan, he'll return with an income tax that places a heavy burden on the rich.
"We are proposing a revised residential user fee, with a hearing on January 8 at 6 pm and a vote scheduled for January 14," Novick said this morning in a press release. "If that fails, either in Council or through a subsequent referral to the ballot, we will prepare to campaign for a progressive income tax in 2016."
Either version of the street fee would raise $23 million—combined with a $23 million business fee, which Novick says remains unchanged.
Novick's announcement unveils a threat that's been discussed in City Hall for weeks: If opponents of the street fee refer it to the ballot and voters defeat it, Novick will return with an income tax, the option the Portland Business Alliance hates.
Novick's press release lays out both scenarios: