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Utility License Fees

Utility license fee increase for electricity, natural gas

In April 2020, Council approved a 3% increase to utility license fees that took effect July 1, 2021. Utility license fees are charged to use the public rights of way within Gresham. With this change, private utilities are now in alignment with our City utility fees, which are set at 10%

Why was this increase needed?

  • Gresham has one of the lowest permanent property tax rates of any major city in Oregon. We receive only 24¢ of each dollar of your property taxes. This covers less than half of the cost of critical services, including public safety (police and fire).
  • The utility license fee on electricity and natural gas is a critical revenue source that supports the City's General Fund, of which about 90% directly funds public safety services.
  • This fee has not increased since 2011.
  • Generating additional revenue was not an action the City took lightly. Before adopting any new revenue, we implemented nearly $6 million in spending reductions, including the elimination of City positions.
  • Due to the impacts of COVID-19, which are likely to reduce City revenue, we face budget challenges. Without additional state or federal aid, Gresham’s current financial circumstances, even with this utility license revenue, will likely require large service impacts.
  • It’s always challenging for the City to generate new revenue. This revenue will support services critical to Gresham households. Even with this modest revenue increase, Gresham’s overall tax and fee burden remains one of the lowest of any full-service city in Oregon

How big of an impact will this have on my household budget?

The average PGE customer will see a monthly increase of around $3.11 per month as a result of this action.

Where does this money go?

Most of the revenue collected from utility license fees pays for core services such as police, fire and parks. A small portion pays for the streetlight program.