U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler has weighed in on Oregon’s plan to potentially toll parts of Interstates 5 and 205 to help fund highway improvements in the state.
In a letter to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Department of Transportation, Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, made clear her opposition to any tolling plan that “would unfairly target Washington commuters on Interstate Highways 5 and 205” and said she would defend them with “every appropriate means at my disposal.”
Herrera Beutler wrote that she doesn’t oppose the concept of user fees going to construction, maintenance or upkeep. However, she argues that putting tolls at the state line, which would be largely paid by Washington commuters, then using those to improve projects south of Portland, “would be unfair in the extreme.”
“Oregon has no right to make Southwest Washington an unwilling piggy bank for Oregon’s infrastructure projects,” she wrote.
Bryan Hockaday, press secretary for Gov. Kate Brown, wrote in an email that the governor’s office hasn’t received nor was aware of Herrera Beutler’s letter until the media provided it.