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Politics | Energy | local

Portland Polls Public On Possible Carbon Tax

The city of Portland is seeking public opinion on a possible carbon tax. Revenue from the tax would support street and sidewalk improvements.

Portland City Hall

Portland City Hall

Kathryn Boyd-Batstone/OPB

A telephone survey was rolled out Thursday night in order to gage potential voter support for a city-wide utility and gas tax.

The survey asks if voters would approve a measure that taxes up to 3 percent of utility revenues and 4.5 cents on each gallon of gas.

Dana Haynes is spokesperson for the mayor’s office. He says an audit last winter showed that Portland has not done enough to take care of its streets. The city is now looking for creative ways to raise revenue and, Haynes says, “Now is the time to ask what could we float out there, what would the community buy into? A carbon tax? Maybe, maybe not. This is the time to ask.”

Maybe not, if you ask Portland General Electric. Spokesperson Steve Corsen says carbon regulation belongs at the federal level.

“It doesn’t seem fair to single out our customers within the city of Portland for an even greater contribution in that area,” Corsen says.

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