EUGENE, Ore. — The Eugene City Council is moving forward with plans to place a property tax levy on the May ballot.
Councilors instructed the city manager to come back with wording for a ballot initiative. Before councilors voted, they listened to about an hour and a half of comments from the public, Monday night.
A number of services potentially on the chopping block spoke about what cuts would mean to their organizations. Others told councilors now is not the time to tax, asking them to find the money in other ways.
The city is facing a $6 million budget shortfall. Several people spoke at the meeting.
“You take another $20, that’s for taxes. You look around, you have nothing,” said one Eugene resident.
Another resident sympathized, “I know that a majority of Eugene residents said they would be willing to pay a little more to preserve vital city services. I count myself among those residents.”
“To make this revenue measure less oppressive on poor people will bring more support,” said another Eugene resident.
“The list of, I believe, 28 services on the cut list would be a devastating blow to the human service system in the community,” said another Eugene resident.
Council must take action no later than Feb. 13 if it wants this levy on the ballot.
Earlier in the evening at a council work session, councilors also voted to table a vote on an ordinance that would have pushed a stormwater and parks fee into the budget discussion. Councilors were not in agreement. It seemed there was more time needed to discuss this issue. It’s unclear when it will be talked about again.