BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

November 9, 2005

Commissioners' Conference Room

1:30 p.m.

APPROVED 8/15/06

 

Commissioner Anna Morrison presided with Commissioners 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.

 

15. PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a. ORDER 05-11-9-10/In the Matter of Authorizing the Removal of "Public Use" Deed Restriction from Property Conveyed to the City of Coburg by the County Identified as Map No. 16-03-33-23-06800.

 

Gary Darnielle, LCOG, explained that the City of Coburg is asking to remove a public use restriction on property the Board quitclaimed to the city in 1991.He noted it was property that the County received through foreclosure.He said the board order that transferred the property to the city indicated that the intent was the property be used as a park.He recalled that in 2003 and 2004, the city went through a public park master plan effort and they looked at this property and determined it was too small to be used for any type of park.He said the city believes the only way they could use the park for parks purposes was to sell it and use the proceeds for a park project.He recalled that last night the city council passed a resolution that recognized the Countyís intent that the property be used for public purposes and the proceeds of the sale would be transferred to Parks.He added the sale of the property would allow the city to cure a property disagreement and make the adjacent property buildable.

 

Judy Volta, Mayor of Coburg, explained this was a legacy issue.She noted this park is a triangle and there is an issue between two property owners on how they agreed they would divide the land.She noted the little piece keeps it from being a buildable lot.She said it came to them through foreclosure by the County.She wanted to take the money and put it in the Parks fund, so it could be sold.She wanted this to be a win-win situation.

 

Dwyer asked if it was possible to make the sale without that property.

 

Volta said it wasnít.

 

Dwyer wanted to put the money into Lane Countyís parks.

 

Volta said if that is what the Board requests, then they could do that.She recalled it was granted for park purposes. She wanted to get the actual land use issue resolved.She said they want a clear track with the proceeds and they need the Countyís consent.

 

Stewart said the property was given to the City of Coburg for park purposes.He didnít have a problem if they dedicate the proceeds to be used for park purposes.

 

MOTION: to allow the City of Coburg to take clear title to the property upon the payment of the amount to County Parks Department.

 

Dwyer MOVED.

 

Motion failed for lack of a second.

 

Sorenson asked why the Board of Commissioners had to make the decision, given that Coburg has the property.

 

Darnielle explained the County placed a public use restriction on the quitclaim deed.He said they got advice from the title company and legal counsel to have a public hearing and have them officially remove the restriction.

 

Commissioner Morrison opened the Public Hearing.There being no one signed up to speak, she closed the Public Hearing.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER 05-11-9-10.

 

Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

16. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a. Deliberations

 

1) Public Safety Funding Options.

 

2) Ordinance No. 5-05/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 4 of Lane Code to Add Provisions for a Lane County Sales Tax and Use Tax, to Dedicate the Revenues, to Adopt Administration and Collection Provisions, To Renumber Differential Tax Provisions, and to Set an Effective Date (LC 4.400 through 4.462).

 

3) Ordinance No. 6-05/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 4 of Lane Code to Add Provisions for a Lane County Gross Receipts Tax, to Dedicate the Revenues, to Adopt Administration and Collection Provisions, To Renumber Differential Tax Provisions, and to Set an Effective Date (LC 4.500 through 4.563).

 

Jim Johnson, Facilitator, distributed a status report.(Copy in file).

 

With regard to number 4, on the discussion of prevention, Sorenson wanted to add the word rehabilitation to it.He said there are about 6,000 people in Lane County who do not have health insurance and are drug and alcohol effected but because they do not have health care, they arenít covered.†† He noted with number 6, property tax relief, it would depend on the type of tax before he would agree to the property tax component.†† With regard to number 11, he said if they donít get the Secure Rural Schools re-authorized, then they have to be careful about dedicating all of the money to public safety.He asked why they would dedicate the money to public safety when they have a significant reduction in non-public safety activities.

 

Stewart didnít think by giving the break in property tax that there would be enough left over to take over the remaining items in the general fund.He added if they lost the Secure Rural Schools Act funding, the items in the general fund would not be affected.

 

Wilson explained, depending on what taxes the Board chooses, if they choose to have an income tax on both personal and businesses, they could write a charter amendment that authorized the County Commissioners to impose income taxes at a rate for business and personal, not to exceed an amount for the purpose of funding the public safety program.She said by doing that they could never increase the rate above what was in the charter amendment without going back for a vote of the people.She said they would have the dedication in the charter amendment.She indicated it accomplishes what the Board wanted.She said they could conditionally enact the ordinances on the charter amendment passing.

 

Green asked if they could dedicate revenue from the type of taxing mechanism they have.He wanted to know if a portion could go toward prevention and other dedicated to the overall public safety needs.

 

Wilson said that charters are constitutions.She thought they could be more specific in the charter amendment itself.She added that they could write a ballot title that informs the voters what the charter amendment does.

 

Dwyer recommended keeping the information as simple as possible.He said as they make it more complicated, there is less comprehension and understanding and if they donít understand, the voters tend to vote no.

 

Sorenson asked if they had to designate where the money had to go if they used public safety.

 

Wilson explained that legally if they dedicate it for public safety and describe a range of what they anticipate public safety to mean, then it allows each and every Budget Committee and Board of Commissioners to address each year what the most important balance of public safety needs are and how they would be funded within the dedication.

 

Dwyer commented that he didnít think there was a large element of trust on governmentís ability to do the right thing for the right reason.

 

Green didnít believe there was any tax they could offer the public that they would want.He suggested working on a combination of a personal income tax and a corporate income tax.

 

Johnson explained that a corporate business means not sole proprietors and not partnerships.He asked if they wanted a business income tax on all business income or to just tax corporations.

 

Green wanted to address the concern about corporations not paying their fair share of taxes.

 

Johnson said it could be structured like Multnomah County and the City of Portland:a tax on all business entities and personal taxes.He said it is a tax on the business activity in the jurisdiction instead of just corporations.He said they could combine a personal with a business income and then give a deduction for the money they earn as a business.

 

Dwyer said if they had an income tax based on the income of the individual, then if they work for a corporation and make money, they would pay the tax.He said it would be a deductible from state and federal taxes.He said they could give property taxes to individuals that are not large corporations.He wanted to keep it simple with one tax and one rate that applies to everyone.He also wanted to give property tax relief.

 

Johnson commented that both Chambers of Commerce were supportive of an income tax surcharge.

 

Morrison wanted to make sure that if they do this, the charter amendment doesnít change unless people allow it to be changed.

 

Stewart said his concern with the income tax was they were presented a straight one percent either on gross income or net state income tax income.He was concerned that under the gross option of one percent, they would be taxing people on their social security.He said if they went with a net income, he wanted to see how that would affect people.He wanted to make sure that whatever they put together is fair to the citizens and doesnít affect the small businesses.

 

Wilson said if they didnít do any property tax relief as a component under number 6, (but instead, in the tax itself, gave a deduction for real property tax paid up to a certain amount); under the theory that if they own a piece of property and they are paying real property tax they could afford to pay the income tax.She said it would allow eliminating the property tax relief component to focus it as a deduction on the personal income tax.She said it had the political component that if they believed property tax relief was significant in helping pass the charter amendment, they would be giving that up.

 

Green favored an income tax where everyone pays.

 

Dwyer stated if they ware going to give property tax relief they would give it across the board, to deal with equity and fairness.

 

Sorenson didnít want to have an ordinance written.He wanted to get an analysis of some of the other ideas.He wanted to know the impact on tax payers using the Multnomah County business and occupation tax if they levied it at the $25 or $30 million level and with or without a property tax component so they could see what the impact is.He didnít favor the measures that were on the table.He also wanted to know how many people were affected at the lower income.He wanted to know if there would be a regressive impact and people would end up paying more in taxes at the lower level.

 

Stewart wanted to look at the different concerns.He wanted another meeting where they review the different analyses and make an educated decision.

 

Johnson said they had developed six different scenarios and what they would be paying.

 

Sorenson asked if he could prepare the assumptions with people who were renters.He thought the task force limited the dollars because of the polling.

 

Johnson recalled the discussion with the task force was around $24.5 million.He said they thought it was a balance between meeting the goal of a reasonable first step with an impact and the polling results they had.

 

Johnson reiterated the Board wanted to see more scenarios.He said there was an interest in an income tax and they wanted to see an analysis done.He added there was no direction yet to write an ordinance.

 

Wilson said that next time they would aim toward drafting an ordinance.She said if they were going for a charter amendment, they would want to put it on the ballot in either March or May.She said they would need to write the charter amendment and the ballot title by early January. She added the ordinances could come later.

 

Johnson reported there was consensus to consider a personal income tax.He suggested giving direction to Wilson to research that to put concepts together for review.

 

Johnson reported he attended the meeting in Coburg at the city council and gave a status report on where the Board was.He said they passed a resolution that discussed the problems and need.He said they left the taxing technique up to the Board.He heard that three city councilors preferred income taxes.

 

Dwyer asked what it would cost to add 100 beds at the current cost .

 

Russ Burger, Sheriff, responded the cost is about $100 per day per bed.He said if they added 100 beds, that amount would go down.He added it depends upon the type of housing.

 

Dwyer asked for a matrix showing that, including contracting.He asked where it could be cheaper.

 

Burger said he could find an architect that could build a no frills dormitory style that doesnít cost a lot of money for additional capacity.

 

Doug Harcleroad, District Attorney, commented that he liked the direction the Board was heading.

 

17. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Dwyer announced that tomorrow at 8:15 a.m. there is a special Economic Development Committee meeting to discuss special project opportunities.

 

Morrison announced that tonight she would be hosting a town hall meeting in Veneta.She noted that next week she has a meeting in Florence.She stated that next week is a down week, as the Association of Oregon Counties is hosting their annual meeting at the Hilton.

 

Johnson reported the City of Eugene met today but did not pass a resolution.He said they seemed supportive and understood the implications of a public safety system that doesnít work and the effect it has on them.

 

18. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

19. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

Tax Foreclosed Properties as Parks Inventory

 

Todd Winter, Parks, recalled that the Board directed staff to get an appraisal on the Glenada property.He stated that staff had not done a review of the appraisals.He said they need materials within a week and a half.He said they couldnít provide anything until after they have done a complete review.

 

Dwyer wanted to share the value with state parks.He said they have the value and they indicated the interest in buying the property. He said they could have a win-win by giving him a life estate so they are not displacing anyone.He wanted Winter to share the aspects of what it would take with state parks.He wanted Winter to let the state parks know the County was willing to sell the property.He was concerned about the well being of the gentleman on the property and to have a response in writing on how serious they are to move forward.He thought it was a good deal.

 

Morrison noted on the summary page the market value estimate does not include timber value, mineral rights or other components that are not consistent within the scope of the assignment.She wanted information on the timber that is standing.

 

Sorenson said the 84.47 acres along the Siuslaw River including Barrett Lake, is valued by Gillepsie & Associates at $817,000.He indicated in his conversations with the state that there is an interest in acquiring it.He wanted to know the status on this.He said there had been a two-month delay on the preparation of the document.He said they made a commitment to hold a public hearing on the matter in Florence, to make sure the public had their opportunity to give their views.He asked what the logistical arrangements are so the documents could be reviewed by the public.

 

Winter indicated that they would make them available at Public Works.

 

Morrison was in favor of a public hearing; but if they choose to put the parcel in their Parks inventory, and the Board of Commissioners should make the decision to sell the property, then a public hearing should take place at that time.

 

Wilson recalled that, given they have designated this as park property, they cannot sell park property or convey park property without having a public hearing.She said the Board could always have a public hearing subject to appropriate notice on any issue.She said if they decide to sell the property, then they must have a public hearing before adopting the order to sell.She suggested that Winter come back in two weeks with a range of recommendations.Part of the recommendations might be to sell the property and they could have a recommended hearing date.

 

Green supported holding a public hearing on the options in Florence.

 

Stewart wanted Winter to take the time he needs to put together all of the options available and then they could go through the public process.He thought they should take their time and do it right.

 

Snowden asked the Board if they wanted Frank Simas to review this.He said it would take longer for Simas to review this than for Winter to put the options together.

 

Green indicated there was no sense of urgency.He wanted it done right.

 

Winter indicated that he would come back with an oral report on the status of conversations with state parks and sale alternatives.He will also do a review of the appraisal and come back to the Board before a public hearing, possibly in mid-December.

 

Morrison suggested doing this by the middle of December. She wanted a complete package, rather than a rush with this.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Morrison adjourned the meeting at 3:40 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary