EUGENE, Ore. — In Springfield, just over 50 percent of voters passed both the public safety and parks levies, taking on an average $70 annual property tax increase; but, they say it’s because it’s worth it.
As ballots were counted across the state Tuesday, Oregonians opted to take on a number of taxes–two state tax measures, two in Multnomah County and in Springfield measures 20-195 and 20-199.
“I think as a state, voters are starting to say, ‘wait a minute’. We have cut too far to the bone. We need basic services, we need a government that serves people, and somebody has to come up with the dollars,” said Dr. Sandy Morgen, University of Oregon Anthropology Professor.
Morgen says voters are shifting from an anti-tax mentality to a fair-tax mentality.
“They are being more attentive to the fact that they want good government, not no government, and that they want fair taxes. They know how important it is to have decent schools, to have public safety,” Morgen said. “I think the people in Springfield are a very close community, and I think they work hard to accomplish things that are good for the community.”
For the two Springfield measures, the average contribution adds up to around an additional $70 a year, something Morgen and 55 percent of voters agree is affordable and worth it.
“This is a quality of life state, and I think people are just sick of seeing our state degraded. Being on the news for the highest hunger rates and packed classrooms, people have had enough,” said Morgen.
The average tax increase for both measures based off a $124,000 assessed property value would average out to about $42 a year for parks and $158 per year for public safety. The tax increase is about $25 more than residents are already paying for the 2006 Public Safety Levy, which ends next summer.