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Cedar Mill News
Volume 6, Issue 10


October 2008

Local ballot measures will fund needed services and infrastructure

By Bruce Bartlett, CPO 1 Chair

We have compiled the following information on the five local money-related measures on the ballot this November.  Four affect property taxes and one is paid for by new development. Given our low to non-existent level of investment in local infrastructure, these seem necessary and very reasonable.

Measure 34-154 - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Local Option Levy

Over the past eight years, TVF&R has added emergency response personnel and updated technology to improve response to fires and medical emergencies. Those improvements were possible thanks to voters' support of a local option levy in 2000 and renewal of that levy in 2004. The levy approved in 2004 will expire next year. Its tax rate of 25¢ per $1,000 of assessed property value is identical to the current local option levy tax. It is the same rate that appears on individual tax bills now.  Visit www.tvfr.com/aboutus/lol.aspx

Measure 34-156 - Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District Bond Measure

The Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (THPRD) Board of Directors approved a $100 million bond measure which would provide money for land acquisition and dozens of improvement projects focused on parks, trails, natural area preservation, athletic fields, facility expansions, and replacement and rehabilitation of aging facilities. Its cost is 37¢ per $1,000 of assessed property value per year during the 20-year life of the bond.  Visit www.thprd.com/pdfs/administration/bondmeasurebooklet.pdf. If the bond passes, plans for CPO 1 include:

  • Cedar Hills Park would be redeveloped into a significant community park, which the Park District generally defines as spanning 10-25 acres.  THPRD’s plan features a synthetic athletic turf surface, outdoor splash pad (water feature) and ADA-compliant community garden with raised accessible beds and pathway connection.  The synthetic turf would serve multiple sports and be illuminated.
  • THPRD also would establish a new community park with multiple amenities at an unspecified site within its northeast quadrant, which encompasses much of CPO 1.  Meanwhile, a new neighborhood park (generally 2-5 acres) would be developed at Roger Tilbury Park.
  • Cedar Hills Recreation Center and the Sunset Swim Center would be modified structurally to make them safer in the event of an earthquake.  The swim center would also receive a new pool tank and deck and a permeable paved parking lot surface, the latter to limit stormwater runoff.
  • Cedar Mill Park would be redeveloped to include a natural grass athletic field, and a similar field would be located elsewhere within THPRD's northeast quadrant.
  • Lost Park would be upgraded with new play equipment, ADA picnic table and pad, and one ADA bench, with accessible pathway connection.
  • Terra Linda Park and Roxbury Park also would receive new play equipment.  Trail expansions would be done at Jordan-Husen Park, Bluffs Park and the former Brady property (Cedar Mill Trail). 

Measure 34-159 – Washington County Fairgrounds Revitalization

This bond measure places $44 million of general obligation bonds on the ballot to design, construct, equip and furnish a 120,000 square foot event center at the Washington County Fairground site to create public open space and make related fairground improvements. The cost is estimated at about 6¢ per $1,000 of assessed property value in the first year. The term of the bonds would not be more than 30 years. Visit: www.FairgroundsRevitalization.com

Measure 34-164 – Washington County Transportation Development Tax

The proposed Transportation Development Tax (TDT) would essentially double the tax developers pay for impacts their new development has on the transportation system. It would replace the existing tax, known as the Traffic Impact Fee (TIF), passed county-wide in 1990.  Originally pegged at covering 30% of the costs of growth, over the years the TIF’s capacity has shrunk to covering about 14% of those costs.  The TDT could bring in enough revenue and credits to construct approximately 28% of the growth-related transportation infrastructure.

The TDT is not a property tax.  New development would be required to pay the tax when a building permit or occupancy permit is issued.  Remodeling, temporary uses, and state and federal government buildings are exempt. The TDT would be levied countywide. All revenue would continue to be dedicated to transportation capital improvements designed to accommodate growth.  Eligible projects are on major roads, including sidewalks and bike lanes, as well as transit capital projects (such as bus shelters). 

Over the past year this proposal has been thoroughly reviewed by the Washington County Coordinating Committee (WCCC), a partnership of mayors, County Commissioners and other elected officials representing local governments.  The WCCC was formed in the 1980s to make decisions about transportation issues of countywide significance. Visit www.co.washington.or.us/deptmts/lut/planning/ord2008/TIF_SDC/TDT.htm

Measure 26-95 - Campaign for the Portland Community College Bond Measure

Portland Community College (PCC) is a critical part of our community and our economy, providing vocational training and life-long learning to more than 86,000 students a year from five Northwest Oregon counties. However in the face of the area's growing population and ever-greater demand for skilled workers, PCC's current facilities just can't accommodate all those who want to receive training. Unless we act now, students in need of health care, manufacturing, emergency service and engineering training will be turned away and many local employers will have to look out-of-state for skilled workers. The cost of the bond is $374 million. The maximum a property owner would have to pay is estimated at 32.9¢ per $1,000 assessed value. For the owner of a home assessed at $280,000, that’s less than $8 per month or about $92 per year. Visit www.pcc.edu/news/NewsRelease-bond.cfm


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