BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
June 17, 2003
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Harris Hall Main Floor
Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Tom Lininger and Anna Morrison present. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. Multnomah County Chair Diane Linn Presentation on Recent Multnomah County Measure.
Sorenson explained this was a special meeting of the Lane County Board of Commissioners. He noted this was a briefing by Diane Linn on the temporary income tax measure.
Diane Linn, Chair, Multnomah County, reported that Multnomah County was facing a series of inactions by the Oregon Legislature related to school and basic service reductions. She noted the only thing produced out of the legislature was Ballot Measure 28. She recalled it failed statewide, and in Multnomah County it would bring back the 25 days they would lose out of the Portland school year. She said it was important for them to face the result of the ballot measure and it brought to light that maybe people were interested in a solution that meant investing more taxpayers’ dollars into the schools and services. She noted that after the loss of Measure 28, there was a swell of support in her county. She indicated that she--together with the leadership of the two jurisdictions in the area--brought a work group together to start forming Ballot Measure 26-48. She added that teachers offered to work ten days for free. She added there would be a surcharge on the business community through their business license fee in Portland. She also indicated that it would bring back their ability to earn back the days they would have lost during the school year.
Cathy Turner, Multnomah County, explained in terms at arriving at the overall total, she said it was a combination of discussions. She said they followed what was in Measure 28 with regard to schools. She said they looked at what would restore a full school year for all schools in Multnomah County and what would keep a reasonable class size enough to offer challenging curriculum.
With regard to public safety and health and human services, Turner stated they looked at what were the major cuts to the system coming down as a result of state shortfalls. She noted their components were around mental health, development disabilities and health care for the uninsured and the indigents. She said for public safety they looked at an array of sentencing alternatives. She added they put additional jail beds in the package and juvenile and parole and probation services. She noted that what they had put into the measure for Multnomah County had been cut by the state. She said the total package was $128 million, amounting to a 1.25% raise in personal income tax, with 75% of those revenues for education and 25% for county services.
Linn explained that this was not a surcharge, but a brand new tax on personal income. She noted that everything they did was for education. She said the measure won by a 58% vote margin.
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 4:25 p.m.