THPRD Board of Directors Approves Sending Local Option Levy to Voters in May 2024
The THPRD Board of Directors voted unanimously to place a local option levy before district voters at the May 21, 2024, election. The board followed the recommendation coming from the district’s Levy Task Force, which analyzed the district’s operational needs and determined a local option levy was needed to maintain THPRD service levels.
Resolution 2024-02, which the board passed, directs staff to place a local option levy before the voters to fund district operations at $0.50 per $1,000 in assessed value for five-years. The levy will maintain district operations and fund the development of a new registration system.
Passage of the levy will allow THPRD to:
Maintain park maintenance levels – ensuring garbage collection, restroom cleanings, and park and trail maintenance is maintained at current service levels. Without the support of a levy, the district will need to scale back maintenance levels. Many restrooms throughout the district would be closed or cleaned less frequently. Parks and trails would see significantly reduced service with garbage collection reduced greatly throughout the district.
Preserve staffing levels – the levy will allow the district to retain up to 50 full-time positions and 200+ part-time positions that serve the community in a variety of ways from park and trail maintenance, class instructors for programs such as aquatics, sports, arts, and more.
Preserve the district’s childcare programs – the levy will ensure the district’s afterschool care and preschool programs continue.
Maintain facilities and service hours – the levy will allow the district to keep three swimming pools open and two splash pads as well as maintain service hours at facilities. Without the levy, operational hours at facilities would be reduced and some facilities would have to close.
Maintain programs and events – the levy will allow the district to continue to offer programs such as Mobile Recreation, Camp Rivendale and free community events such as the district’s Concerts in the Park.
If approved, the local option levy would increase taxes on the average home in the district by about $12.68 per month or $152.12 per year. The funding would go to maintain district operations and fill a projected $16 million dollar shortfall in the district’s annual operating budget.
How was the average assessed value calculated for the local option levy?
Our Chief Financial Officer and the district's bond counsel utilized the average assessed value of property within THPRD boundaries, which is $303,021. In May 1997, Oregon passed Measure 50, which established assessed values on all taxable properties within Oregon. At that point, real market value (RMV) was disconnected from assessed value (AV), in calculating taxes in Oregon. So today, while the average real market value of a home within the THPRD service area is much higher, the average assessed value, or the amount of a home's value that is taxed, is much lower. So, while a home may be worth a much greater amount in terms of what it will sell for on the real estate market, jurisdictions like THPRD, only collect taxes on a property's assessed value, not it's true market value.
The district's legal bond counsel and our Chief Financial Officer determined that the average assessed value of $303,021, was the appropriate amount to calculate the projected cost of the proposed local option levy. We also verified this number is in line with what other public agencies have relied upon. For example, in November 2023, the Beaverton School District relied on the same number for the average assessed value of property within the BSD service area (which is almost identical to THPRD's.