Portland City Council did not fulfill some commitments it made when it asked voters to approve a local gas tax to fund the Fixing our Streets Program, according to an audit released May 19, 2019.
Portland voters narrowly approved a temporary gas tax in May 2016 to fund a Bureau of Transportation program dedicated to street repair and traffic safety. Council passed a separate tax on heavy vehicles to help ensure that all vehicle owners funded the program.
Two years into the program, we assessed how the Bureau is delivering on the Fixing our Streets program and accountability commitments. While projects were consistent with those promised to voters, most were behind the schedules that the Bureau set after the tax passed. Tax revenues from heavy vehicle owners were below the amount that experts said was needed to fund their share of the program. Many of the other accountability commitments were not fulfilled.
The audit recommends the Bureau make changes to improve program oversight and meet public expectations. Responses from Commissioner Eudaly and the Bureau of Transportation are included in the report.
--Performance Auditor III Jennifer Scott