BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
July 10, 2006
Commissionersí Conference Room
Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison, Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present.† County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. EIGHTH READING AND DELIBERATION/Ordinance No. 1-06/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 4 of Lane Code to Add Provisions for a Lane County Public Safety Income Tax, to Adopt Administration and Collection Provisions, To Renumber Differential Tax Provisions, and to Set an Effective Date (LC 4.500 through 4.571) (NBA & PM 1/4/06,1/11/06, 5/1/706, 5/30/06, 6/14/06 & 6/28/06).
Jim Gangle, Assessor, said as a result of their last meeting, he put together several scenarios to show the effect on the typical taxpayer. (Copies in file).
Morrison thought if the Secure Rural Schools Act were not funded, that the 1.4 percent income tax would not be adequate.† She thought they were going to see scenarios around two percent.
Wilson explained that all the options the Board had on June 28 indicated that the amounts they were working with were what caused the Board to give direction to change the rate in the income tax from 1 percent to 1.4 percent.†† She said that is why they were looking at the 1.4 percent (on the goldenrod sheet), as a first year, first steps.† She said David Garnick, Budget Financial Planning Manager, dropped the Secure Rural Schools Act funding at 50 percent and explained what would happen.† She didnít realize that the Board was asking for the scenarios to be developed at the higher charter amendment cap rate.
Wilson noted that if the Board wanted to enact or conditionally enact an ordinance today, it would be at the 1 percent rate, but they could have any of the language options.† She said they have to wait until Wednesday to get 13 days apart from the next reading.† She said they should go with an ordinance and the second step would be a charter amendment. †She added that they could have the ballot title language refer to the ordinance.† She said if they want to separate the two, the Board could enact or not enact today or Wednesday.† She stated that today was the last day for the charter amendment for the November election.
Wilson explained that the ordinance has an Option 1 that has conditional language in it.† She noted that Option 2 puts in another six months and allows them to go forward with the charter amendment and to enact the ordnance.† She recalled that Options 3, 4 and 5 are language options attached to the back of the packet.† She said they have $7,500 to $15,000 deduction amounts.† She noted there was a Scribnerís error on Option 5, the brown language is the correct language, and the stricken purple is in error.†
Van Vactor recalled that, based upon the Boardís direction of June 28, they supported Options 3 and 5 and setting the rate at 1.4 percent.††
Wilson noted she handed out the same ordinance page showing the rate change.† She said the rate change component is what is available to enact on Wednesday.† She added that the rest is available to enact today.
Sorenson thought the Ordinance was to ask the voters to change the Lane County Charter and create a public safety fund as a change in the Lane County Charter.† He thought it was important to move the charter amendment forward to let the voters vote on it.†
Dwyer said the question then becomes do they tie the ordinance to the charter amendment.† He said the ordinance would not become effective unless there is a yes vote on the charter amendment.†† He asked the Board if they want to tie the passage of the ordinance to the affirmative vote of the charter.
MOTION: to move to conditionally enact the ordinance and send the charter amendment to the voters and if the charter amendment passes, the ordinance becomes effective.
Green MOVED, Dwyer SECONDED.
Green commented that even though they had the power to enact this, it would be unwise.† He said they need to have an education piece on the need. He asked if they had a significant amount of time to do it.
Stewart asked if they placed an ordinance conditionally on the charter for November if they had enough time to get the information to the citizens.†
Morrison supported the motion.† She thought to arbitrarily enact something was not the right thing for them to do.† She hoped to tie this to the charter amendment and to let voters vote on it.
Dwyer didnít want the ordinance affecting the tax and he didnít want it to go into effect unless a majority of the people support the charter amendment.† He said that was the intent.† He said if they are going to condition the ordinance on the charter amendment, they have to let legal counsel know.
Wilson explained that to legally have the ballot title referred to an ordinance, they have to enact as much of they ordinance as they can today:† the one percent rate and any option 3, 4, or 5.† She added the Board could give direction to come back and amend Ordinance 1-06 to increase the rate.† She said they have to enact the ordinance, conditionally, on the charter amendment today.† She added that on Wednesday, they could have a first reading on a new ordinance that changes Ordinance 1-06ís amount.
Sorenson asked about the timeline for public participation for the voterís pamphlet.
Wilson said she received ideas about who could be on an explanatory statement committee.† She was prepared to have a board order next week, appointing an explanatory statement committee to write the statement.† She noted the explanatory statements and the arguments are due at County Elections for the state voterís pamphlet by noon on August 29.†
Van Vactor noted the motion didnít discuss options 3 and 5.
Wilson indicated it just addressed the conditional enactment.
Wilson recommended they formally conditionally enact the ordinance.† She said they would need a motion at the one percent rate with options one, three and five.† She stated the second motion would be on ORDER 06-6-28-10 that places the charter amendment on the ballot.†
Sorenson said there are some rights to challenge conditional ordinances.† He asked what the challenges were.
Wilson indicated that this was an enactment and it makes the timing conditional on the outcome of the charter amendment.† She added that voters have an opportunity for a referendum petition and it begins 90 days after enactment today.
Sorenson asked if this ordinance raises $65 million.
Wilson responded that at the 1 percent rate it did not, assuming options three and five, it raises $53 million, assuming the Secure Rural Schools Act is 100 percent funded.
Sorenson asked what would be the amount of the gross income tax revenue into the County so they would net $53 million.
Wilson explained that the total income tax required is the $53.35 million and that was used to calculate the l percent rate.†
Green commented that Lane Countyís situation was tenuous at best, even if they got 100 percent reauthorization.† He stated that they still couldnít deliver all services.
Morrison noted if the money is not renewed, it would keep them at the status quo, treading water at a 1992 level of service that is being provided.
Wilson said they would need a motion to enact Ordinance 1-06 with options one, three and five.
MOTION: to enact Ordinance 1-06 with options one, three and five.
Green MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Sorenson asked if there would be a net cut to public safety services if the voters enact the measure.
Wilson indicated that Options one, three and five do not net $53 million.† She noted that Option one alone netted the $53 million.† She added that they hadnít figured out what Options one, three and five at the one percent rate nets.† She said the $65 million would come from the 1.4 percent are from the ordinance.† She said if Secure Rural Schools is not renewed and they stayed with either the one percent or 1.4 percent, they would not be able to afford the public safety services they currently provide.
Van Vactor explained there is the assumption they will also have a charter amendment that will authorize up to two percent.† He said because it is an ordinance, the Board would have the discretion to increase the rate within the cap up to two percent.
Wilson noted the two percent is designed without the Secure Rural Schools funding and would allow them to continue at the current service level plus the $23 million of new programs.
ROLL CALL VOTE: 5-0.
2. ORDER 06-6-28-10/In the Matter of Referring to Election the Income Tax Limitation Charter Amendment, and Directing that It be Placed in the Voters' Pamphlet.
Wilson explained that the charter amendment contains the changes that they requested on June 28.† With regard to the rate limitation, she stated that it now reads that any income tax imposed by the Board of Commissioners shall not exceed a tax rate of two percent, if the Secure Rural Schools Act is not funded. She noted the other change is the heading on the reserve fund that no longer says ďrainy dayĒ but ďspecial dedicated fund and reserve.Ē† She added the change they discussed with Exhibit B would be deleting the word optional and changing a one percent income tax to read as enacted by an income tax.
MOTION to approve ORDER 06-6-28-10.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
Morrison noted there was a recommendation made by Jim Hale.† She said he requested to call it a recession reserve when there are changes in the economic conditions that would cause them to have to move to the reserve.†
Green agreed with the current language.
Wilson asked if the Board wanted to have a first reading on a new ordinance on Wednesday to change the income tax rate from 1 percent to 1.4 percent.
MOTION: to have a first reading on a new ordinance on Wednesday to change the income tax rate from 1 percent to 1.4 percent.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
Wilson explained for the explanatory statement that they only need between three and five people and there is not a requirement that they be pro or con.
Wilson noted that Tony Bieda, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, prepared a laymanís language explanation on what the Board did.† She said it has a description of what the history had been and the new programs and components on how the new money would be made available under the charter amendment and the ordinance.
Bieda explained that when they were talking about this at a staff level and what type of communications might be needed to support the Boardís actions today, a question was raised about whether they need to do a letter to the constituents to let them know what they did and why.† He said staff came up with a draft report that would go to the citizens. He said it would give the history of what led up to todayís events and as they do additional communication activities, there is a common understanding about the basis and the history of the decisions.
Bieda reported they are preparing a special newsletter to go to all employees to describe what was done today and why.† He added it would be a follow up to an e-mail that went to all employees.† He said after that newsletter goes out, they will have another round of meetings with employees to let them ask questions.
Van Vactor recognized Jim Johnson, Dave Garnick, Jim Gangle, Anette Spickard and Terry Wilson for their work on putting this together.
There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 10:30 a.m.