The New City at a Glance flyer
A flyer distributed by the 'convenors' who advocate incorporating the area of the Oak Grove Water District into a new city. (Ed. note: No list of all the convenors, identifying them, their backgrounds and interests, has yet been published by the 'convenors'.)
BENEFITS OF BECOMING A NEW CITY
New City will give our community a strong voice with direct, local representation to county, state and federal agencies.
New City will form a community of 30,000 citizens that is run and represented by friends and neighbors, rather than the Board of County Commissioners. *
New City will collect about $1,225,000 from ODOT as our share of state highway/road funds. **
New City will have available three times more money for road maintenance than the County provides to the area today.
New City will provide dedicated law enforcement with a 55% increase in police protection for the community. ***
New City will have the tools to attract, promote and nurture new business and better serve existing businesses. (Ed. note: How?)
New City will provide a local place where residents can call, e-mail or visit to get solutions to government issues.
New City will give our community local control with ZERO additional cost! (Ed. note: See A4 below for a likely contradiction to that unenforceable promise.)
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
* Does that mean there will be a requirement that the city employees who would run a new city, be residents of the city?
** It was represented at the 6/01 meeting these roads funds can only be spent for road maintenance; state and county roads are maintained at the expense of the state and county, so these funds would be used to pay for maintenance of roads other than McLaughlin and other than other state or county roads.
*** ELED meetings have heard the Sheriff's intent to increase the rate charged to cities for law enforcement provided on contract, which would effectively decrease the number of patrol officers available to a New City. Therefore, the 55% increase is questionable.
In addition, convenors are quoting a different number of patrol officers assigned to the ELED than I have heard in ELED meetings, and the assumed baseline number of patrol officers does not include the baseline number of patrol officers available to all the area of the county. Further investigation may be warranted to validate the assumption of a 55% increase of patrol officers to a newly incorporated city.)
PROPOSED NEW CITY BUDGET (APRIL 2009) (with editorial comment)
A Taxation Analyst at the Clackamas County Department of Assessment and Taxation has reviewed the "Frequently Asked Financial Questions" for New City. "I don't see anything glaring that would be incorrect." - J. Mayo.
$2,166,094 Property Taxes at rate of $1.2922, per $1,000 of assessed value (abbreviated PTDAV)
$1,928,449 Franchise fees, state allocated funds, revenue from Municipal Court, other sources
$ 260,000 Operating the Municipal Court
$ 150,000 Enforcing Code Compliance
$2,100,000 Police Service
Frequently Asked Financial Questions
Q: How will the new city affect my taxes now?
A1: Property owners in the area are currently charged a rate of $0.7198 PTDAV, for the Sheriff's Enhanced Law Enforcement District. Since cities cannot be in the Enhanced Law Enforcement District, the New City could charge $0.7198 PTDAV in taxes, and that rate could be charged by the New City with no net difference to the public.
A2: Clackamas County bills property taxes in unincorporated areas at a rate of $0.5724 PTDAV more than it bills for properties inside cities, and that rate could also be charged by the New City with no net difference to the public.
A3: Add (A1) and (A2) to get $1.2922 PTDAV which the New City could levy at no net cost to its citizens. That would yield $2,166,094 nowadays; assessments can increase at up to 3% per annum under current law, so a slow increase in city budgets is likely.
Q: How will the new city affect my taxes in the future?
A4: State law requires cities to establish a base tax rate at the time of incorporation. Once set, the city can increase taxes, but never exceed the established base. To provide for future needs, the convenors proposed the base rate be set higher than the aforementioned $1.2922 PTDAV.
(Ed. note: That's an open door to new taxes; hence the sobriquet, New Tax City, earned by the convenors' desire to enable new taxes beyond the 'zero-base' budget which has been a lure to this discussion, as well as prior failed attempts to incorporate.)
A5: Part of the city charter for incorporation will include the requirement that, to raise taxes, the city must hold a general election vote, requiring 60% of votes cast to enable an increase, for it to pass. (Ed. note: Has the constitutionality of a supermajority vote for a tax hike been validated? If not, such a requirement could be overturned without a supermajority vote, for these has been agitation to overturn supermajority requirements for tax increases.)
Q: How will the new city affect businesses?
A6: There would be nominal fees for business licenses. Local utility districts (sewer and water) would not be charged franchise fees.
(Ed. note: Convenors have noted franchise fees can be charged to Qwest, Comcast, Portland General Electric and other non-local utilities. Would not that justify rate increases by those utilities, resulting in an indirect tax through rate increase? Who ultimately would pay those increases? )
(Ed. note: The 'nominal' fees to businesses for occupational and business licenses are an added cost which would be passed on to you, the customers. Would the fees always be 'nominal'? Will that be specified in the city charter?)
Inquiring minds want to know more.