The Levy Bond Task Force was reconvened in August 2019. The group met three times in 2019: August 21, September 18, and October 16. The focus of the work was centered around a possible levy in May of 2020. Presentations made to the group included but were not limited to the 2018 levy efforts, proposed 2020 levy package, city finances, outreach and engagement, Safe Route to Schools, police operations, messaging and ballot titles.
Much ground was covered in a relatively short amount of time. After much deliberation, including review of a community survey that was conducted in October, the Levy Bond Task Force drafted and sent their recommendations to Council.
Though the Task Force’s work has concluded, the City of Tigard continues to explore the possibilities of a ballot measure in 2020. A second survey was conducted in December 2019, and Council continues to deliberate, discussing the topic at several meetings: November 5, November 12, December 17. Those conversations will continue in 2020.
In 2017, the Tigard City Council appointed 17 members to a Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force. The members were convened to advise the Council on, among other things, the possibility of seeking additional resources for its services in the form of a voter-approved local option property tax levy. The Task Force was composed of individuals who possessed varying degrees of knowledge about city funding and the community, as well a range of varying degrees of having worked with the city in some capacity, such as volunteerism.
As stated in the previously approved bylaws, Section IV, each member of the Task Force is appointed to a three-year term.
The group met regularly over the course of 10 months, from July 2017 through April 2018. To learn more about that process, see previous meeting materials below. Because one of Council’s 2019-2021 goals and strategies is to pursue another Local Option Levy in May 2020, we reached out to the members of the Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force in hopes to reconvene, continue the conversation, and build upon the previous effort.
Twelve of the original 17 members have expressed interest in continuing their role as a Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force. On August 13, 2019 Tigard Council appointed five new members to the Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force to serve the remainder of the term (Resolution 19-32).
The Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force is an important part of pursuing Council’s goal regarding a levy.
The City of Tigard placed a Local Option Levy on the ballot in May 2018. The ballot measure was focused on operations, with a specific emphasis on police, library and park maintenance services. That effort was defeated, with 55% voting against the measure.
We want to learn from that experience and are taking steps to do just that. We solicited feedback, convened focus groups, and talked with voters across the city. And now we are reconvening the Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force. The focus is on lessons learned—what we did, what we learned and how we are responding. We anticipate the conversations will be robust as we explore the following questions:
- Which specific services do voters most value and would be willing to pay for?
- What information do voters need to better understand the finances, the service levels and the ask?
- What communication tools and messages are most effective about delivering the information?