BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
November 30, 2005
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Anna Morrison presided with Commissioner Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present.† County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Item 6. a. is moved to December 7.† Under Commissioners Business Morrison added Item 6. b., a resolution to the administration regarding Secure Rural Schools.† She added item 6. e. as a resolution regarding South Lane Meals on Wheels.† She noted under Consent Calendar, item 9. B. 1) is pulled until December 7.† She added there would be a continuing discussion of the public safety measures.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Sue Noble, Florence, spoke on the 80-acre dunes issue.† After reading the appraisal, she was concerned about irregularities after the appraiser requested certain documents from the County and they werenít provided.† She added there was a request in the appraisal that the appraiser impose a limitation so that only gross acreage be considered for the purpose of determining highest and best use.† She noted it imposed acreage on top of Barrett Lake and Flint Creek in the drainage area and evaluated those as buildable land in RR2 and it affected the value.† Noble stated that, had the appraiser received the documents as requested from the County, she would have had a better idea about taking the acreages out of the appraisal.† She urged the Board to carefully read the appraisal.† She thought it was subject to challenge.† She thought the Board could work with the State of Oregon to get an adequate amount of money for County Parks, as that was the original goal.† She said it would preserve the land.
Marilyn Stevens, Eugene, reported that since there was a public hearing on the Hinnenkamp Measure 37 claims, there was substantial logging on the property.† She asked if that would affect the appraisal done as part of the application process for the waiver.† She thought the application didnít fairly reflect the relationship that they think exists between Jerry and Donald Palmer and Mr. Hinnenkamp.† She acquired a copy of the log for wells that are being put in the area and the well that was put in on the property was listed to Jerry Palmer.† She asked the Board to carefully look at the relationship that is not forthcoming on the application.
Jim Gillette, Eugene, asked the Board to attend his hearing on Friday about his issues.† He said he would prove at the hearing that the government is vindictive. He said the County has not let him appeal because he didnít pay the $12,000 he owed.† He said the County had been prejudiced against him.
Julie Mathison, Corvallis, said she was with the Law Office of George Helig in Corvallis and they represent Leila Strohm and Melba Durant in their opposition of their legalization process.† She said they object to the process. She noted that Hulbert Lake Road is not the same road as County Road 160. She indicated that road was originally laid out in 1855 and Hulbert Lake Road had only been in existence since the 1920ís and created as a private access road.† She noted that the County did not improve the road until the 1960ís and it followed no formal process to establish the road.† She added that the County at that time assured the residents that it had a legal basis for proceeding with improvements.† She said Leila Strom had lived in her current location since the 1920ís and corroborates the history.† She stated that ORS 368.201 provides that the County may proceed with legalization only under limited circumstances.† She said their position is that none of the circumstances apply.† She said in their view, the illegal establishment of the road did not occur through omission or defect, but through a willful misrepresentation by County officials.† She commented that it was a taking of personal property without compensation and without proper operation of law.† She recalled that the order issued on December 10, 2003 that denied legalization was intended to resolve the issue.† She noted that nothing had materially changed since that time and they believe that legalization remains against the public interest and against the wishes of the majority of the affected parties.† She added that there are certain structures on Stromís property that are in the proposed 40 foot right-of-way, including fencing and a bridge that have to be modified.† She commented that because the legalization process does not apply in this situation, the removal of any of the structures would constitute a taking.† She indicated that Strom and Durant requested that Option 3 be pursued and if legalization proceedings continue, their clients are prepared to take legal action to bar the proceedings.
Andy Stahl Welbourn, Eugene indicated that he lived near the Hinnenkamp property.† He encouraged the Board to comply with the courtís order in the Hector McPherson v. State of Oregon.† He commented that although Lane County is not named a defendant in the Measure 37 lawsuit, the courtís order is intended to apply for all counties.† He asked why the County is spending taxpayer dollars on processing the application.† He stated that this application would affect his sheep ranch.
Melba Durant, Junction City, commented that the road was not built by Lane County and is not County Road 160, it was taken by Lane County.† She recalled that the legalization hearing in 2003 had a ruling to deny legalization.† She said that no affected resident has mounted an effort for a County road.† She added that only Lane County Public Works and Commissioner Morrison want the road legalized.
Robert Emmons, Fall Creek, recalled on December 10, 2003, the Board voted not to legalize Hulbert Lake Road.† He noted that the neighbors thought the issue was decided.† He asked why the property owners were being put in the process once again. He stated that the County has no legal jurisdiction and asked the Board not to let this go forward.
Zachary Vishinoff, Eugene, provided information on weapons research from the University of Oregon.† He commented that the University of Oregon is not having public hearings about rebuilding a basketball arena.† He thought three minutes was not enough per person for public contact.††† He wanted a public hearing about the Florence sand dunes in Eugene.
3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
4. MANAGEMENT SERVICES
a. REPORT/Lane County Animal Regulation Authority Needs Assessment Workshop Report.
David Suchart, Management Services, recalled that the task force asked them to begin looking at the facility.† He indicated that it was built in 1978.† He said they made some improvements in the facility, but they were limited by the configuration of the facility as it currently is.† He said at the Boardís request and with assistance from Stewart, he had been working with Larry Gates, Animal Arts, to upgrade the facilities.
Larry Gates, gave a presentation on the Needs Assessment Report. (Copy in file). He suggested making it a resource center for the public that would contain facilities that would be pleasant to be in.† He recommended that they have a building with a good noise and odor control.† He indicated that building is running about $200 per square foot.
Gates said they put together three development alternatives that would allow flexibility to make some decisions.† He indicated some of the bigger picture items† were about capacity.† He said there was consensus to get close to the elimination of euthanasia for behaviorally sound and healthy animals.† He commented that there is no possibility that an open admission shelter like Lane Countyís could realistic get to zero euthanasia.† He said they had to consider that Greenhill Humane Society is in the process of getting their resources away from adoption and into spay, neuter, education and longer-term solutions.† He said if they are not emphasizing their adopting programs, it would put additional burden on the County to make up the difference.
With regard to the existing facility, Gates commented that when it was built it was a state of the art facility, but at this point it is not efficient in handling animals and is a danger with cross traffic between animals taken in, the public and the staff.† He noted there is a general lack of space.† He said in the current facility there is a certain amount of confusion as to where to go and what to do.
Gates thought the shelter should develop a reputation within the public of adopting out healthy, well-adjusted animals. He thought there was little in the facility for efficient handling of animals for animal control officers.† He noted there is not an enclosed area to offload animals.† He added they do not have facilities to temporarily house animals so they could get the animal control officers back on the street.† He said the animal control areas and the animal handling areas need to be segregated from the public area.
Gates said they wanted to look at three options: renovating the existing facility, to look at the overall animal capacity to see what would work and what wouldnít work based on the existing facility.† He noted what needs to be examined is what the land use regulations are.† He noted in the report is a sketch of what he would propose to fix the existing facility, including adding a new entry for spay, neuter and adoption and animal control services.† He recommended building a new dog adoption pavilion with the only dogs in the building being adoptable.† He thought the existing cat adoption area was fine.† He said the animal control wards and work areas needed to be expanded to create an efficient operation for officers.
Gates indicated that there would be a secure area for parking animal control vehicles and parking for staff would be in the back.† He noted the existing large animal holding stall building is not big enough to be useful. He said they looked at the number of animals in shelters compared to the human population.† He indicated that Option 2 was the same capacity the County currently has and building a new state of the art facility.† He said Option 3 was to expand the capacity to meet the goal of being able to handle the increase of human population and how big it would need to be and the cost to build it.† He said Option 1, redeveloping the site and adding and renovating in the existing facility, would cost around $2.4 million with additional architecture engineering, bringing it to about $2.9 million.† He added that Option 2, a new state of the art facility without expanded capacity would be around $3.4 million with fees bringing it up to $4.25 million.† He noted that Option 3, building with expanded capacity would be $4.6 million with total fees and costs to about $5.7 million.
MOTION:† to accept the report.
Stewart MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Morrison requested that the report go to the Facilities Committee.† She added that under recommendations research, she wanted to discuss that at Facilities with a copy of the power point to review.
Stewart hoped to use this information to have a private-public partnership in raising funds to build this.† He wanted a plan that could include a partnership with Greenhill and the public to raise funds.
Dwyer said he had been advocating a separate entrance for spay and neutering.† He said it would take a commitment from the City of Eugene if they wanted to build their own entry way and a counter where their employees are.† He didnít think Option 2 was a viable option.
Van Vactor thought they should include the City of Eugene as they process this.
b. REPORT/Lane County Animal Control Quarterly Report.
Suchart reported that they had gone through with the small cities regarding the code change.† He commented they have failed to convince the city councils about the code change.† He said they are almost complete with their data base program.
Suchart reported their impounds on dogs are up.† He added the return to owners is up by 34%.† He said their adoptions were down and their euthanasia (due to lack of space) is down by a significant amount.† He commented that licensing was working as they were getting the dogs back to the owners and are not euthanasing animals for lack of space.† With regard to licenses, Suchart reported that the County is up 11% over the first quarter of last year and the city is up 15% over last year.† He noted they are up about $2,000 over a† year ago.
5. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
6. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. REPORT/Valuations in Measure 37 Cases. (Dr. William Jaeger, Oregon State Department of Economics) (PULLED)
b. ORDER 05-11-30-1/In the Matter of Ordering the Acceptance of the Final Recommendations of the Benton, Lane, Lincoln, Linn Regional Investment Board Regarding Funding Projects for the FY 2003-2005 Biennium.
Milo Mecham, LCOG, indicated that this is the final round of the bienniumís regional investment boardís investments.† He said they are supporting projects around the four county area.
Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
c. ORDER 05-11-30-2/In the Matter of Ordering the Approval of the Regional Investment Board 2005-2007 Implementation Plan for the Benton, Lane, Lincoln, Linn Regional Investment Board.
MOTION:† to move to approve ORDER 05-11-30-2.
Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
d. ORDER 05-11-30-14 Requesting the President of the United States to Include Funding for Federal Safety Net Payments (HR 517 and S 267) in the 2006-07 Federal Budget.
Bieda explained that two identical bills were introduced this year, one in the house and one in the senate.† He noted the bill in the house got through the first committee and is awaiting final action in the House Agricultural Committee.† He said they believed it would move if the funding issues were addressed.† He added on the senate side, the senate bill got to a senate hearing and had not been voted out yet.† He noted the funding issue had not yet been addressed.† He said it had been suggested by some of the contacts in Washington, DC that if they could get the President to include this in his next budget proposal that it will go to congress next year, as some type of place marker for funding secure rural schools, under the terms of the bill of the current funding formula.† He said that is the funding proposition their supporters and people in the Congress and Senate had done for them. He commented that if they could get a place marker in the Presidentís budget for some recognition of the need to fund this, it would be easier to get the rest of the funding issues taken care of during 2006.† He believed if the Board approves this, it makes Lane County the first county in the country to formally pass a resolution directly requesting the White House to include this in the Presidentís next budget proposal.† He said they would boilerplate the resolution and give it to all of the counties in the country who receive the funding.
Morrison indicated that this was a last ditch effort to try to appeal to the administration to get it into the budget in some form.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 05-11-30-14.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
e. ORDER 05-11-30-15 Recognizing South Lane Wheels for 25 Years of Service.
Stewart read the resolution into the record.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 05-11-30-15.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
7. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor announced that the Performance Counts Conference would take place tomorrow.
b. ORDER 05-11-30-3/In the Matter of Amending the Video Allocation Policy of Chapter 4 of the Lane Manual to Revise the Definition of Economic Development (LM 4.100-4.110).
Peter Thurston, Economic Development, reported that this came as a recommendation from the Economic Development Standing Committee.† He said the action is to make language in the Lane Manual defining economic development consistent with the practices of focusing on job creation and training that improves family wages in Lane County.† He noted there were no changes with the process or funding that exists during the general allocation.
MOTION:† to approve ORDER 05-11-30-3.
Dwyer MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
8. PUBLIC WORKS
a. FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. PA 1227/In the Matter of Amending the Junction City† Comprehensive Plan to Adopt Exceptions to Statewide Planning Goals 3 And 14 Pursuant to Goal 2 and Modify the Urban Growth Boundary to Include an Additional 74.26 Acres of Land Currently Within the City Limits; and Adopting a Severability Clause (File No. PA 05-5132; Country Coach, Inc.) (Second Reading & Public Hearing: December 14, 2005, 1:30 pm).
MOTION:† to approve a First Reading and Setting a Second Reading and Public Hearing on Ordinance No. PA 1227 for December 14, 2005 at 1:30 p.m.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
b. ORDER 05-11-30-4 AND DELIBERATION/In the Matter of Considering a Ballot Measure 37 Claim and Deciding Whether to Modify, Remove or Not Apply Restrictive Land Use Regulations in Lieu of Providing Just Compensation (PA05-5680, George Hinnenkamp Trust).
Stewart announced that he had received several telephone calls on this matter and an e-mail about the water resource log.
Morrison indicated she received the same information.
Van Vactor recalled the Board held the record open for the claimant to submit the trust document.† He indicated it was submitted.
Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, indicated there was a title report that showed the trust as the owner of the property.† He said the articles of the trust indicate that the trustee is George Leland John Hinnenkamp and the actual beneficiary is the same person.† He noted that Hinnenkamp has the ability to revoke or amend at any time.† He said for purposes of ownership, interest in the property was treated as though there is no change of ownership by the conveyance to the trust.† He indicated that it would be as if Hinnenkamp continues to own the property.† He said the draft order (also part of the supplemental material that was provided) goes through it.† He said Hinnenkamp still has an interest in the property.† He added the draft order is part of the supplemental material that goes through the claim and the waiver to Hinnenkamp.† He indicated that it is not a new owner Measure 37 claim.
Stewart questioned the actual ownership of the property.† He noted the waterlogs for the well had someone else listed as the property owner.† He thought they needed more documentation to show that Hinnenkamp is actually the owner.
Vorhes explained that the seller retains legal interest in the property until the sale is complete and a deed conveys that legal title to the buyer. He said if there is a deed conveying title, then there is not an interest that remains in the trust.† He added that the title report was an older one.
Van Vactor recommended keeping the record open.
Stewart wanted to keep the item open so the applicant could provide more information.
Sorenson indicated he forwarded e-mails he received subsequent to the hearing.† He asked if they could set a hearing date and allow people to come in to testify on the state of the record.† He asked what the legal rights were to Palmer.
Vorhes recalled this was to leave the record open for the purpose of submitting additional information to the Board from anyone.† He said the Boardís options are to leave the record open for a period of time, or they could set it up for another public hearing at a set time and date.
MOTION:† to hold a public hearing, with the agenda team determining the best time and place.
Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Green thought they should continue their deliberations.† He wanted to know who would do the continued research.† He thought the applicant should provide information for the Board and make it specific as to what they want from Hinnenkamp and then make the determination.† He didnít think they needed a public hearing.† He agreed to keep the record open.
Sorenson didnít want to just keep the record open because when information is submitted, he didnít know if all the information is shared.† He thought there should be an open process.
Dwyer was in favor of the motion.
VOTE: 3-2 (Morrison and Green dissenting).
Stewart asked if they should put a hold on processing claims but still allow citizens to come in to put them in a process and file so they have asserted their Measure 37 rights before the two-year deadline.† He said they will wait for the courts to rule and if it is overturned, they will pick up with the process.† He was concerned every time they have a claim, they hadnít given clear direction as to what the requirements are.† He wanted the Board to have a work session once they determine the direction of Measure 37.
Morrison thought they should have a work session on Measure 37 next week when the speaker comes to speak with them at the Board meeting.† She asked how many claims had been filed that had not gone before them.
Howe responded there were about 50 claims processed so far and the Board had processed eight or nine.† He noted of those remaining, there were some that have not paid their fees.† He said he would provide that information next week.
Vorhes said they could ask homeowners if they want to keep things on hold but wait to see how the litigation comes out.††† With regard to a legal risk, he said for those claims that have been filed, they have taken place.† For the ones who havenít filed, for anyone who asked to be paid, if they donít agree to a waiver, the County runs a risk that after 180 days they go to circuit court.
Stewart suggested they contact all the owners who have filed applications and ask if they wanted to put their contracts on hold and waive the 180 days period.† He said if they donít waive it, they would have to move forward.
Morrison requested the next meeting have a list of claims filed and the options.
c. DISCUSSION/Initiating the Legalization of a Portion of Hulbert Lake Road (County Road No. 160).
Sonny Chickering, Public Works, reported back on details to legalization that the Board had already directed to do.† He recalled in June he and the County Surveyor were given direction to begin legalization of the road corresponding with the distance between the existing fences on either side of the road or up to a maximum of 40 feet.† He was also given authority to report back to the Board regarding horizontal curves.† He was concerned that there could be vegetation that had grown up that would have impaired the sight vision or that fences that exist today or could be built in the future would restrict the sight distance across the horizontal curve.† He said they had done the surveying to identify where the fences are and looked at the horizontal curvature.† He asked the Board if they should discuss legalizing or obtaining right-of-way sufficient to secure or preserve sight distance across the horizontal curve.† He said they identified six curves that are sharp enough that the baseline direction to the fences or 40 feet would not provide adequate sight distance. He showed an option for a 25 mile-per-hour design speed or a 35-mile per hour design speed.† He said they have been directed to legalize the road.
Dwyer commented that it is a road no one wants and they are spending money on.† He asked why they were doing this.
Chickering said they are doing the work because they believe the public expects to be able to use that road.† He said when he sends out his crew to perform any maintenance, a local resident who wants them to leave immediately confronts them.† He indicated that the question is whether the public has a right to use the road.† He said if he is told yes, then he is obligated to protect the public by keeping the road up.
Morrison indicated that the public has the right to use the road.† She noted that members of the public and residents along the road had requested that they maintain the road.† She said their crews go out and are stopped and that is what precipitated staff to come back to them in June because they were having difficulty in maintaining the road.
Dwyer commented that the public has a prescribed right to use the road.† He didnít want to put any money into the road.† He said if the people who live on the road want the road maintained, and it is not a public road, then they canít have it both ways.
Snowden recalled that two commissioners held a meeting in Junction City on April 8, 2005 and most of the property owners wanted the road legalized to a 40-foot width.† He thought people wanted the road made a County road and maintained by the County.† He said the department has no plans to do a capital improvement project.† He said if the public wants it maintained and the Board agrees, they believe they would need to legalize it so their road crews are not put in a bad position He noted that the Board had a meeting last year and after the meeting, he met with Melba Durant and Robert Emmons.† Snowden said he would not bring this back to the Board for decision until Durant had an opportunity to talk with all of the owners to make it private.† He said in order to make it private, the owners would need an access easement to get legal access to their land.† He said the owners would need to sue for some access easement to get legal access to their land.† He added that before they would vacate any County interest in it, they would want to see that other properties would have legal right of access preserved in a written easement that was before the property, and that never happened.† He thought the majority of people didnít want to make it a private road.
Marc Kardell, Assistant County Counsel, stated that Durant believed that it is private.† He indicated that there was an agreement and they could restrict the use as they see fit.
Snowden explained that the proposal for Durant was that they would come back and request that the County vacate all public uses of that road.
Stewart was concerned about the liability if they quit maintaining the road.
Snowden indicated that in the past they found they were maintaining roads that were not public roads and they stopped maintaining them because there was no public right-of-way.
Kardell indicated it was their belief that it is a County road and it was established.† He noted there was some doubt about its location.† He said they would have potential liability.† He indicated there are maps going back to 1920 and proceedings in 1855 that might lead a court to conclude that it is a County road.† He explained that the road official has jurisdiction over roads, whether or not they are County roads and he has the ability to alleviate dangers, including charging the abutting property owners if there is a problem.† They think the most prudent thing to do is investigate and report back to the Board.
Chickering believes that this is a County road and they had been maintaining it that way.
Stewartís understanding was that they were going to the fence line.† He thought there was good direction to have Public Works go into the fence line.† He asked if a lower speed could be posted.† He thought if they posted a slower speed and they donít have the property site distance, they could be liable.
Chickering asked if the Board wanted to provide additional site information on the inside of the curves.† He explained that Option 2 would preserve the right of way option.† He recalled they are legalizing to the fences, or 40 feet where there is no fence.
Morrison commented that people werenít ready to address the problem.
Green suggested going with Option 2 a.
Chickering indicated they would move forward with the direction they have and† will not make efforts to legalize on the inside of the curves.† He said they would handle that with signing or another method.† He added that the bridge is 38 wide and 40 feet leaves a foot on either side of the bridge.† He asked for 50 feet past the bridge, instead of 40 feet.
Stewart, Morrison and Green supported the legalization process.
Chickering wanted to legalize the road at the width they specified and there would be no additional taking.† With regard to the bridge, his recommendation is to legalize it at 50 feet.
Snowden reiterated that the Board reaffirmed the Boardís direction to Chickering from June 8, to go 40 feet or to the fence line as they existed on June 8, 2005.
9. CONSENT CALENDAR
A. Approval of Minutes:
November 2, 2005, Joint BCC/Fair Board Meeting, 12:00 noon
B. County Counsel
1) ORDER 05-11-30-5/In the Matter of Approving Amendments and Restatements of the Lane County ICMA and NACo Deferred Compensation Plans to Comply with IRS Code and Regulations.
C. Management Services
1) ORDER 05-11-30-6/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property to Randall Johnson for $500 (Map† 19-12-27-14-03200, South of 4890 Darlings Lp., Dunes City)
2) ORDER 05-11-30-7/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property for $75,000 to the Center Family Trust (Map† 18-12-27-21-10300, 1600-293 Rhododendron Drive, Florence).
3) ORDER 05-11-30-8/In the Matter of Authorizing the County Administrator to Execute an Option to Purchase Agreement with Jimmie L. and Brenda C. Smith for the Sale of County Owned Real Property Identified as Map No. 21-04-01-00-02100 (Adjacent to 30826 Kenady Lane, Cottage Grove).
D. Public Safety
1) ORDER 05-11-30-9/In the Matter of Ratifying Execution of Emergency Management Performance Grant FY 06 Certificate in the Amount of $194,354.00.
E. Public Works
1) ORDER 05-11-30-10/In the Matter of Setting a Public Hearing for the Renaming of Blue Mountain Lane North (a Portion of Co. Rd. 2117) to Brumbaugh Lane (21-02-18) (Public Hearing: January 11, 2006, 1:30 pm).
2) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 05-11-30-11/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of a Portion of County-Owned Real Property Identified as Tax Lot 17-13-16-41-00100 and Located on the East Side of North Game Farm Road to the State of Oregon.
3) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 05-11-30-12/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Three Parcels of County Owned Real Property Adjacent to Northwest Expressway on Filbert Avenue, Identified as Tax Lots† 17-04-23-44-4800, 4900 & 5000.
4) ORDER 05-11-30-13/In the Matter of Appointing Three Members to the Resource Recovery Advisory Committee and Reappointment of One Current Member.
MOTION:† to approve the Consent Calendar.
Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
VOTE: 4-0 (Stewart out of room).
10. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
11. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Morrison attended a workshop in Florence that NEDCO conducted.† She commented that they had done an excellent job, but she was disappointed in the turnout.
12. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
Per ORS 192.660(2)(d) for the purpose of deliberations with labor negotiators.
13. OTHER BUSINESS
CONTINUED DISCUSSION PUBLIC SAFETY TASK FORCE REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS
Stewart recalled when they left off, they discussed property tax relief.† He indicated that Sorenson had a question about renters and how the tax might affect them.
Van Vactor explained that a way to address renters would be a deduction off the income tax so that there would be parity.
Jim Gangle, Assessment and Taxation, distributed and discussed a memo on the potential of a renter living in a multi-family dwelling situation.† (Copy in file).
Dave Garnick, Senior Budget Analyst, distributed information according to the census.† (Copy in file).† He said that approximately 63% of the properties at this time were owner occupied and 38% were renters. With a 6.3 vacancy factor, it brings the number of estimated renter occupied units to 46,000 and the average household is 2.25.† He used an example of $39 for a potential renter relief factor.† He indicated that relief would total $3.7 million.
Morrison asked if there was a way of verifying the number after a five-year period.
Garnick indicated that was something they would discuss before they finalize the rate.
With regard to property tax relief, Dwyer thought they needed to do it.† He wanted property tax relief to give something back.†† He added that they are not taxing federal or state retirement and giving an exception for low income.
MOTION:† to approve that the rate set in the charter be high enough so that Lane County can provide property tax relief in the amount of $1 per thousand of assessed value.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
Stewart thought it was more prudent to give the dollar back and address the public safety issue at this time.
Green thought they should retain the 28 cents for other County services.
Sorenson asked if they would limit in the measure, that they would not raise the 28 cents that would be subject to the normal increases or anything else the public approves.
Wilson indicated the motion in writing states that the rate in the charter shall be set high enough that it would provide property tax relief.† She added if the Board wanted to give her direction that the charter language includes the concept of the property tax in addition to the rate, and that needed to be expressed.
Sorenson wanted to state in the charter that they would not impose anything beyond 28 cents.
Dwyer wanted the language to state that the property tax is a certain amount and could only be increased by a vote of the people.
Gangle commented that this would open up room for more local option levies to incur or the formation of another district.
Stewart said if they choose as a board not to levy the property taxes for a certain year, it didnít mean that they couldnít go back and levy them in the future.
Sorenson asked about saving money for a rainy day fund.
Dwyer suggested having a two per cent per year reserve for five years to cap the fund at 10%.
Sorenson asked how they could write language in the amendment.
Wilson responded that there is general language in terms of the dedication that allows for the funds to be used for appropriate support.
MOTION: to move that the rate set in the charter for the new taxes be high enough so that the general fund share of Secure Rural Schools (approximately $20.458 million) for the next coming Fiscal Year 06/07 can be replaced if Congress if does not renew the legislation.
Morrison MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Green asked what would happen if Congress renewed it partially.
Morrison indicated that they would then give back some money.
Wilson explained that they are trying to establish an upper rate for the charter.† She added that every year they could choose to assess a lower rate.
Sorenson thought there was an advantage to waiting until they know what happens with the Secure Rural Schools Act.
Stewart thought it was prudent to look for the future and to include the amount of Secure Rural Schools in case it is not reauthorized.
Stewart indicated that they also wanted to set the rate high enough in the charter to include public safety services that are in the general fund, for taxes given back for property taxes. ($38.6 million)
MOTION: to set the rate high enough in the charter to include the public safety services that is in the general fund ($38.6 million)
Green MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Choosing a Taxing Method
Dwyer wanted equity.† He didnít want to tax anyone twice.† He thought taxing personal and businesses was fair.
Sorenson asked about the money that would be raised on the personal side, versus the amount of money raised with business.
Garnick responded that Attachment 13 was an attempt to try to move toward that.† He indicated that because they are going to do a rebate he would have to recalculate that.† He thought they would be looking at 1.35% for the tax for both the personal and business income to generate enough income including the renterís rebate.† He thought personal income would be about $63 million, with $10 million for business income.
Van Vactor stated that if they add deductions like a renters rebate that they might have to raise the rate.
MOTION: to move to have no double taxation,† having the same rate and a credit for the taxes paid, with personal and business taxes.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
Wilson said that Dwyerís motion replaces the owner-compensation that exists in the Multnomah tax with a concept of a deduction on the personal income for the income that had already been subject to the business income taxes.
Choose a Tax Basis and Maximum Rate
Sorenson asked if there would be a separate tax rate for other income tax forms that are submitted.
Wilson indicated they would have the same rate across the Board.
Dwyer said they needed to keep this as simple as they can.† He said they need to think about equity, fairness and for everyone to support it.
Morrison indicated they would be using the Oregon taxable balance.†† She asked what the rates would be.
Dwyer explained that whatever rate they take, that they raise it equally.
Wilson stated to achieve the $71 million, it takes a rate of 1.31%.† She said they could decide to have the charter maximum rate set at 1.35%.† She explained that everything they were doing was estimated. She added that they could set it with direction that it be the same rate for business and personal and when they adopt the ordinance for actual levying of the rate for the first time it is levied, and if they get the Secure Rural Schools money, they would be setting the levy lower for the first round of levying.
Van Vactor thought by the meeting of January 11 that they would have more precise information.
MOTION: to agree that the tax rate be based upon the Oregon taxable balance and that the maximum rate for the business and personal be determined after further analysis.
Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Charter amendment and election date
Wilson said if they wanted to do a charter amendment on the March election, and if they want to include a county voter pamphlet, they would need to place the charter amendment on the ballot on December 28.† She said if they were willing to put it on the March election without any voterís pamphlet, they would have until January 11.† She added that if they want to do it on the May ballot, (no voterís pamphlet,) they would have until March 1.† She said if they want it on the May ballot and to put it in the stateís voter pamphlet, they would need to decide no later than January 16.
Sorenson suggested having it in the stateís voter pamphlet in May,† lowering the cost.† He added there would be a higher probability of more people participating in a May election as opposed to a March election.
Van Vactor thought they should have the discussion on whether there should be two measures or one.† He said counsel proposed that if there was a single question asking the voters whether or not they wanted to authorize it, dedicate the proceeds and be provided for the cap rate and the property tax relief.† He suggested making the ordinance effective only if the charter amendment is approved.
Wilson explained that the charter amendment would authorize the taxes, put maximum limits on it, contain the dedication, the property tax relief, the Secure Rural Schools condition and within a short period of time in January, the Board would enact the ordinance conditional on the actual levying of the initial tax, conditional on approval by the voters of the charter amendment in May.† She said what the voters would be seeing is what the maximum authority is and what they would be doing in the ensuing time period.
Green indicated that the maker of the motion should include not just the May 2006 date, but the motion that would authorize and dedicate all the proceeds for public safety and set the maximum rate for the business and personal tax.
MOTION: to move that County Counsel prepare a charter amendment to be submitted to Lane County voters at the May 2006 primary election that would dedicate all proceeds of new taxes to public safety purposes and set maximum rates for the Personal Income Tax and the Corporate Income Tax.
Dwyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
Wilson noted that the filing deadline for the explanatory statement for arguments for the stateís voter pamphlet for the charter amendment would be March 9.
MOTION: to move that the ordinances related to the new taxes are contingent upon passage of the charter amendments being sent to Lane County voters.
Green MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Exemptions or deduction
Sorenson commented that some of the benefit of this to property taxpayers would be $1 per thousand reduction on their property taxes.† He suggested putting some of the income tax money in for rental owners.
MOTION: to have a renter relief reduction in the personal income tax at a rate of comparability to the property tax.
Sorenson MOVED, Green SECONDED.
Wilson recommended a medium assessed value of rental units.† She said they would work on setting a dollar value deduction.† She suggested a flat amount deduction close to $30 dollars.
Morrison questioned how many renters this would impact.† She thought it was a non-issue.
Timing for readings and public hearings
Wilson said they could have a charter amendment ready on January 11, but have a first reading in January and a second reading and public hearing in January.† She said they would deliver a business income tax ordinance and the personal income tax ordinance and this is the law that would go into effect.
Sorenson asked what action of the Board was necessary to have the charter amendment put in front of the voters.
Wilson responded that a board order was needed to refer it with the ballot title.† She said they should consider having the public hearing earlier than January 11 to allow time to revise the charter amendment to reflect what they have at the hearing.
Sorenson suggested having an evening hearing on January 4, 2006, with an afternoon meeting on January 11.
Van Vactor said they could enact the ordinance on January 18.† He asked if there were any differences with the Multnomah County Tax and the Oregon system of corporate and excise tax.
Wilson expected to be drafting the Multnomah County business income tax and a personal income tax.† She said they would be using something close to Multnomah Countyís tax as they modeled the Oregon Income Tax.† She indicated she would use the Multnomah County tax model.
MOTION: to move to hold a public hearing at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 4, 2006, followed by a public hearing on Wednesday January 11, 2006 at 1:30 p.m. on the proposed ordinances and charter amendments at Harris Hall or the City of Eugene.
Sorenson MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at 12:10 p.m.