In May 2020, Tigard voters will have an opportunity to consider a proposed five-year operating levy which would, if passed, fund police services. Here are answers to questions we are frequently asked.
Q. What is a local option levy?
A local option levy is a property tax considered by the voters. A city is required to spend the revenue received from the passage of a local option levy on the programs identified in the ballot measure. A local option levy, if not renewed, expires after five years.
Q. Why was a local option levy referred to the voters?
Washington County’s population is growing and so is the City of Tigard’s population. The US Census Bureau’s statistics show that between 2010 and 2018 Washington County’s population grew 12.8% and the City of Tigard’s population grew 13.6%.
The city has also experienced an increase in police calls for service. In 2018 Tigard police responded to 4,800 more calls than in 2010; an increase of 27%. Staffing levels during the same period have decreased by 4% or 3 positions. Currently, the city’s minimum patrol staffing levels are:
» Day shift: Three officers and a supervisor
» Swing shift: Four officers and a supervisor
» Graveyard shift:
• Three officers and a supervisor, Sunday–Thursday
• Four officers and a supervisor, Friday and Saturday
The 2019 performance audit, completed by a consultant, recommended adding “8 additional officers to achieve higher minimum staffing to achieve stated goal of 5 minute response to priority 1 and 2 calls for service.”
Q. What would the levy fund if passed?
- Eight additional police officers to increase neighborhood patrols and follow-up.
- One additional school resource officer to address school safety.
- Advanced crisis intervention and conflict de-escalation training for Tigard police officers.
- Two additional support staff in the Police Department to manage evidence and records, plus 2.2 additional positions to support data informed policing, communications and hiring.
Q. If voters approve the measure, what would be the result of the city adding 9 more police officers?
- The city would have additional officers to respond when multiple 911 calls occur at the same time. Currently, on some shifts there are not enough patrol officers to cover two high priority calls occurring at once in Tigard.
- Tigard officers would have more time to spend on each call.
- An additional school resource officer would be assigned to work with the schools.
Q. If the levy passes, how much would property taxes increase?
Voters are being asked to consider a levy of $0.29 per $1,000 of assessed value. For a homeowner with a house that has a real market value of $447,000 and an assessed value of $280,040; the tax increase would be approximately $81 per year. To see how the levy would impact your property taxes, the city is providing a tax calculator here.
Q. How much of each tax dollar goes to the City of Tigard?
Q. What would happen if the levy doesn’t pass?
If the levy doesn’t pass, police staffing levels would stay the same and city taxes would not increase $0.29 per $1,000 assessed value.