Bend has a pavement management strategy to maximize cost effectiveness of preservation and maintenance. Regular preventive maintenance extends the life of a street and costs less over time. Every $1 spent on preservation saves $5 for rehabilitation or $12 for reconstruction.
Needs crackseal for $10K per lane mile:
Needs overlay - $91K per lane mile:
During the recession, the City cut back its pavement preservation work. Continually increasing traffic volume has added to streets’ wear and tear. The City of Bend has accumulated at least $80 million worth of deferred street maintenance needs and road conditions are declining.
Existing funds are not keeping up with the growing backlog of deferred street maintenance.
The City of Bend has one of the lowest property tax rates in the state. State law restricts Bend’s ability to increase the permanent property tax rate. As a result, the City has limited property tax income and has to make decisions about allocating resources. Property taxes in Bend - the General Fund - pay primarily for the Fire Department, Police Department and Streets.
Other street funding comes from federal and state gas taxes. However, the federal gas tax rate hasn’t increased in 22 years. In Oregon, the gas tax has increased only once in the past 22 years.
Some street maintenance and improvements are paid for by the City’s share of state-allocated revenues, which includes the state fuel tax. This revenue is based on a formula that includes Bend’s permanent population but does not account for the impact of tourism on city streets.