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The City of Portland, Oregon

Auditor Simone Rede

Promoting open and accountable government

2002 May Parks Levy

On January 16, 2001, the Portland City Council passed Ordinance 176201 referring the following measure to be decided by voters at the municipal Election on May 21, 2002.
*Ordinance 176201 repealed the previous referral for a Parks Local Option Levy passed by Council December 19, 2001.
CAPTION: Five year levy to restore park services, repairs, recreation programs.
QUESTION: Shall Portland repair, continue to maintain parks, playgrounds, pools; levy $.39 per $1,000 assessed valuation for five years beginning 2002? (This measure may cause property taxes to increase more than three percent.)
SUMMARY: This measure may be passed only at an election with at least 50 percent voter turnout.
Since 1997 Portland Parks and Recreation has had to reduce maintenance, repair, safety in parks, playgrounds, play fields, community pools and recreation centers, and reduce park restroom hours because park usage has increased, facilities have aged further, and resources haven't kept up.
The five-year serial levy will repair, restore safety at parks, recreation facilities, natural areas, trails; restore previous cuts and prevent additional cuts to recreation programs.
Levy funds will:
  • Restore basic park maintenance including litter removal, restroom cleaning, mowing;
  • Correct urgent safety problems with playground equipment, play fields, community centers, pools;
  • Repair some playing fields around schools in Centennial, David Douglas, Reynolds, Parkrose and Portland school Districts;
  • Prevent additional cuts to after-school tutoring, recreation activities, and summer playground program - providing kids safe, constructive places to go.
If levy fails, park cleaning, repairs, recreation programs will not be restored.
Levy produces an estimated $48.4 million over 5 years, averaging $9.7 million per year. Levy is $.39 per $1,000 assessed home value. A typical home pays $59 per year, $5 per month.
A Measure Referred to the Voters by City Council Ordinance No. 176201, passed and effective January 16, 2001
NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:
An Act entitled "A Measure directing a five year local option ad valorem property tax levy within the City of Portland at a rate of $0.39 per $1,000 of Measure 50 assessed value, outside certain constitutional limitations, commencing in fiscal year 2002-03, for parks and recreation purposes," be, and the same hereby is submitted to the legal voters of the City of Portland, Oregon for their adoption or rejection at the general election in the City of Portland, Multnomah County, Clackamas County and Washington County, to be held on May 21, 2002. Each voter who votes upon said proposed measure shall vote "yes" or "no" in the space indicated for such voted on the City ballot at said election.
Section 1. Pursuant to Section 7-112 of the Charter of the City of Portland, the Council shall levy for each of five successive years commencing with the fiscal year 2002-03, at the time taxes are levied for the payment of expenses of the City, a special tax at a rate of $0.39 per $1,000 of Measure 50 assessed value, on all property in the City of Portland not exempt from taxation. The money shall be expended only for the following parks and recreation purposes: restoring, continuing to provide summer and after-school programs for children; improving safety and maintenance of play fields and play structures; operating, maintaining, expanding and improving parks and recreation facilities and programs; safety and maintenance of the urban forest, recreational trails and natural areas; providing security measures for parks and park facilities, providing recreation programs and opportunities for seniors and people with disabilities; providing basic park maintenance such as clean and open restrooms, litter removal, shrub bed and grounds maintenance, safety checks on play equipment, replacement of outdated sprinklers and maintenance of off-leash areas for dogs; restoration of parks and recreation services, programs and activities, funding for which the Council has reduced from its previously adopted budget for the 2001-02 fiscal year. This local option levy is specifically authorized, and it shall not be counted as within the limitation provided by Section 11 of Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Oregon. This levy shall, however, be subject to proportional reduction under Section 11(11)(c)(B)(i) of Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Oregon. This special tax hereby authorized shall be in addition to all other taxes that may be levied according to law. The proceeds from such levy shall be placed in a special fund to be designated as the Parks Local Option Levy Fund.