We are a firm “Yes” on Measure 2-123, known as the “Livability Levy.”
Since this is coming quickly on the heels of last year’s School Facility Bond, and the County Levy before that, we know some voters are experiencing levy fatigue. For years, Corvallis has used a system of frequent check-ins with voters on these measures to make sure those voters maintain a voice in regular government business. The Advocate believes this upcoming measure would be good for the city.
Why We Endorse this Measure
The Livability Levy is a proposed property tax levy that would raise $5 to 6 million annually for a period of five years, allowing the city to continue funding major civic operations like the Majestic Theatre, the library, and a number of city parks services. A small amount would also go to some social services.
The proposed local option tax levy is $1.07 for every $1,000 in the property’s assessed value, and would take effect on July 1, 2019. It is designed to replace the current property tax levy set at $0.82 for every $1,000 in assessed value and a general obligation bond tax levy of $0.25 for every $1,000 of assessed value, which are both set to expire on June 30, 2019. The new levy is the same amount as the two it replaces, and so would have a “net zero effect on your property tax bill,” according to the city’s website.
The Parks and Recreation department and city library are most dependent on the passage of the new levy. Without adoption of Measure 2-123, the Osborn Aquatic Center, Chintimini Senior Center, and the Majestic Theatre would be closed entirely, effectively terminating 379 employees. The public library would lose 20 open hours a week, over 50 percent of its funding for new materials, and the effective termination of 62 employees.
In short, we believe the City has been responsible with prior levy funds, and we believe the services are integral to making Corvallis what it is. In fact, we see the Livability Levy as a good bargain for all it offers.
The Advocate Editorial Board: Editor-in-Chief Stevie Beisswanger, Associate Editors Johnny Beaver and Jay Sharpe, and Publisher Steven Schultz