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Gas tax bump, fee hikes among new laws

From higher gas taxes to more bottles redeemable for a deposit, here are some highlights of new laws that take effect on New Year’s Day in Oregon.

By PARIS ACHEN

Capital Bureau

Published on December 31, 2017 10:57AM

Oregon’s gas tax goes up to 34 cents a gallon Jan. 1, a hike of 4 cents. The tax increase is part of a host of laws that take effect with the start of 2018.

EO Media Group

Oregon’s gas tax goes up to 34 cents a gallon Jan. 1, a hike of 4 cents. The tax increase is part of a host of laws that take effect with the start of 2018.

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The Oregon Legislature passed about 750 bills in 2017, many of which take effect Jan. 1. Here are some highlights of new laws that Oregonians may notice in the New Year:


Gas tax


Oregon lawmakers approved a package of new taxes and fee increases designed to fund a $5.3 billion in transportation projects over the next several years.

The one Oregonians may feel most is a hike in the gas tax, up 4 cents to 34 cents per gallon. Employees will see a new payroll tax deduction on their paychecks of 0.1 percent. Oregon also will debuts the nation’s first bicycle tax.

New bicycles sales will be taxed a flat rate of $15, when the bicycle has a wheel diameter of 26 inches or more and a price of $200 or greater. New vehicle sales will be taxed 0.5 percent. Car registration fees will rise by $13 to $43 and title fees by $16 to $93.


21 to buy tobacco


Oregon will become the fifth state to increase the age to legally buy tobacco and vaping products to 21. The law imposes harsh penalties for clerks and store owners who violate the law.

Smoking-related diseases are a leading cause of death of Oregonians, and advocates say the new law will reduce the number of teenagers who take up smoking and prompt some existing smokers to try to quit. Oregon offers one free session of smoking cessation counseling through the Oregon Tobacco Quit line, 1-800-784-8669.


Expanded bottle bill


Oregon’s bottle bill, which allows people to redeem a 10-cent deposit when they return empty beer, water or soda bottles or cans, will expand to bottled and canned coffee, tea, kombucha, hard cider, fruit juice and other beverages.

Wine, distilled spirits, animal- and plant-based milk and meal replacement products still aren’t part of the redemption program.


Move over law


Drivers have been required to move out of the lane when an emergency vehicle is pulled over on that side, but beginning Jan. 1, law requires motorists also to move over when any vehicle is parked or idling on the shoulder.


Gun-removal orders


Another new law gives families a legal tool to remove loved ones’ access to firearms if they pose a risk to themselves or others. The law is designed to prevent suicides and mass shootings

A family member or cohabitant may seek an extreme risk protection order from court for a period of 12 months, during which time the person who is a danger would have their firearm confiscated. The order could be contested and would need to be renewed annually.



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