Eugene city council eyes tax increase for parks

Property taxes would climb if voters approve proposed May bond measure

Posted: Jan 23, 2018 12:39 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Eugene city council wants a property tax increase for the parks and recreation department. The only question now is: how much?

That was the subject of discussion at Monday afternoon's work session at Harris Hall.

Councilors are currently weighing two separate bond issues for the May ballot. The first would would raise $3.12 million a year for five years to pay for operations and maintenance for trails, nature areas, recreation facilities and increased security patrols.

The second measure would raise $31.1 million for construction of parks, trails, nature areas, community centers and pools.

Officials say the park system has a $2.4 million operations and maintenance gap, meaning the cost of upkeep and running the parks is more than the available funds. City staff says more tax dollars would make the parks cleaner and safer.

Still to be decided is whether voters will be asked to pay an additional $8 million to renovate the Sheldon Pool. Without the pool, officials said, the cost for a typical homeowner would be an extra $7.25 a month.

The deadline to finalize the ballot issue is Feb. 12.

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