Measure 34-198 Citizen Questions Answered
A: Under Oregon law, local option levies, such as the ESPD Replacement Levy, involve setting rates per $1,000 of assessed value, not market value. The market value represents the price for which a property may be sold; this amount fluctuates based on location, demand, and other market factors.
The assessed value is set by the County for purposes of calculating property taxes. This value is "capped" at 3 percent growth per year, except for new construction. Property Tax Statement Lookup.
More information about property tax assessment is available on the County website.
A: When the ESPD was created in 1987, property tax rates were set by voter-approved serial levies. In the mid 1990s, Oregon law changed. Property taxes were cut and serial tax rates were converted to lower, permanent tax rates. Any additional taxation must be proposed to voters as local option levies. This type of operating levy has a maximum duration of five years. Today, two property taxes fund the ESPD:
A permanent tax rate (64¢ per $1,000 assessed value) funds roughly half of District services.
A five-year, voter approved levy (averaging 63¢ per $1,000 assessed value) that expires June 2013 funds the remainder. This is the portion that Measure 34-198 proposes to replace.
A replacement local option levy for the ESPD, together with revenue from the Patrol District's permanent rate, would provide funding so that the current level of policing service in the urban unincorporated area could continue, even with projected population growth. Replacing this local option levy would continue to fund a police presence in the ESPD that is approximately double that of the rural area of Washington County.
This information was reviewed by the Oregon Secretary of State's Office 7-23-12.