CAPTION: Five Year Operating Local Option Tax for Schools

QUESTION: Should Gresham-Barlow School District impose $0.74 per $1,000 of assessed value for school operation for five years beginning 2003-04? This measure may cause property taxes to increase more than three percent.

SUMMARY: The proposed tax rate is $0.74 per $1,000 of assessed value of property in the district. For property with an assessed value of $100,000, the tax would be $74.00. It is estimated the proposed rate will raise $3,374,137 in 2003-04, $3,447,551 in 2004-05, $3,550,977 in 2005-06, $3,657,507 in 2006-07 and $3,767,232 in 2007-08, for a total of $17,770,404. The funds will be used to maintain quality education programs in the Gresham-Barlow School District by providing for the purchase of instructional materials, classroom technology, operational needs, and will assist to maintain the desired class size. The education total tax rate, including this special levy, would not exceed the Measure 5 limitation of $5 per $1,000 of real market value for the operation of schools.


The Gresham-Barlow School District is asking voter approval of a Local Option Levy. The proceeds of the levy will be used to maintain quality education programs in the district by providing for the purchase of instructional materials and classroom technology, and will also assist to maintain the desired student/teacher ratios. The downturn in the State’s economy has caused the Oregon Legislature to reduce funds previously earmarked for schools. This has resulted in reduction to staff and programs that directly affect learning opportunities for students.

The Local Option Levy was adopted by the 1999 Legislature as a way for school districts, if the voters approved, to increase property taxes up to the Measure 5 limits of $5 per thousand valuation.

The 2002-2003 budget, which was adopted by the Gresham-Barlow School Board in June, 2002 was for an amount of approximately $78 million. This was $3.5 million less than required to offer the same programs that were offered the year before. Now, the state’s economy continues to decline, resulting in the potential for additional reductions. At the time that this statement is being written, the Oregon Legislature is meeting for the fifth time in an attempt to address the financial uncertainty facing the State of Oregon.

Regardless of the outcome of those efforts, school districts will continue to face funding instability through the 2003-2005 biennium. Current and future shortfalls mean less revenue for educational programs in the Gresham-Barlow School District.

The local option levy will be a flat rate of $0.74 per thousand of assessed value for a five-year period. A home assessed at $100,000 would pay an additional $74 per year in property tax to support this levy. This levy will generate approximately $3.5 million annually for each of the five years of its duration. If the economy improves and the Oregon Legislature adopts a stable funding source for schools, the Gresham-Barlow School Board has the option to not collect this Local Option Levy.

Submitted by:
Michelle Granger-Moore,
Chief Financial Officer
Gresham-Barlow School District 10JT

No arguments FOR or AGAINST this measure were filed.