FOUR YEAR GENERAL OPERATING LOCAL OPTION TAX
QUESTION: Shall City of Troutdale impose $980,000 for four years for general operating purposes beginning 2001-2002? This measure may cause property taxes to increase more than three percent.
SUMMARY: The taxes needed for four years total $3,920,000 which will be imposed in equal amounts of $980,000 each fiscal year commencing 2001-2002 and ending 2004-2005. The taxes will support general operating purposes including but not limited to police, fire, building and parks maintenance, and recreation programs. This levy will maintain current levels of service to Troutdale citizens. This levy will provide funding to maintain current levels of service which have experienced significant cost increases over a five-year period from 1996-1997 to 2000-2001 including total General Fund expenditures of 23% with individual increases of 42.6% for total police costs, 56.5% for 9-1-1 emergency services and 24.9% for contracted fire protection. The fire services contract is expected to increase by 40% in 2002-2003, an estimated increase of $326,000 over current budget year costs. It is estimated that the proposed tax levy will result in a rate of approximately $1.36 per $1,000 of assessed value in the first fiscal year. The estimated tax cost for this measure is an ESTIMATE ONLY based on information available from the county assessor at the time of the estimate.
The Troutdale City Council has referred to the voters a proposed four year local option tax for general operating purposes.
Troutdale citizens have responded to city surveys giving high ratings to the quality of life in Troutdale. This proposed tax will provide the City with the funding necessary to maintain a high level of service, citizen protection and recreation and ensure that city programs and staffing are properly financed to meet demands.
The city population has increased 25% or 2,862 from July, 1995 of 11,450 to an estimated population of 14,317 at July, 2000. The rapid increases in population have resulted in significant increases in demand for services. However, this levy will be used to maintain current level of service to Troutdale citizens, not to improve or increase services.
The City has experienced significant cost increases in the provision of service levels during the five-year period from 1996-1997 through the budget year 2000-2001. General Fund operating revenues have increased from $4,976,888 to $5,940,260, an increase of only 19.4% compared to the total expenditures increase for the same period of 23%. During this five-year period, total police costs have increased from $1,641,032 in 1996-1997 to $2,247,105 (Budget) in 2000-2001, an increase of $606,073 or 42.6%. Emergency 9-1-1 and communication access fees alone have increased by $113,534 or 56.5%. Also, fire protection costs have increased from $653,962 in 1996-1997 to $816,673 (Budget) in 2000-2001, an increase of $162,711 or 24.9% during the five-year period. The fire protection services contract with the City of Gresham is expected to increase by 40 percent in 2002-2003, an estimated increase of $326,000 over the 2000-2001 contract amount.
The proposed general operating local option taxes needed for four years total $3,920,000, which would be imposed in equal amounts of $980,000 each fiscal year beginning 2001-2002 and ending 2004-2005. The taxes will be used to support general operating purposes including but not limited to police and fire protection, community development, building and parks maintenance, and recreation programs. Based on the best information available at this time, it is estimated that the proposed tax levy will result in a first year tax rate of approximately $1.36 per $1,000 of assessed value, or $136 for a property assessed at $100,000.
Paul Thalhofer, Mayor
No arguments FOR or AGAINST this measure were filed.