Funding

Our Tax Base

Mock OrangeUpon the passing of Ballot Measure 26-82, the District began to be primarily funded from its tax base

Measure No. 26-82

BALLOT TITLE WEST MULTNOMAH SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT PERMANENT RATE LIMIT

QUESTION: Shall the District have a permanent rate limit of $0.0750 (7.5¢) per $1000 assessed value beginning fiscal year 2007-2008?

SUMMARY: The West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District shall use funds generated by this measure to meet the demand for natural resource education and technical assistance to urban and rural residents, farmers, business owners, public schools, and the general public, and to increase the economic viability and environmental value of the rural greenbelt surrounding the urban region. The District’s goal is to protect clean water and wildlife habitat. Funds generated may be used to support education, voluntary conservation agreements, and operations.

This measure establishes a permanent rate limited at $0.0750 (7.5¢) per $1,000 of assessed property value. The District expects to levy a lower rate of approximately 50% of the total allowable rate, for up to five years, until conservation programs are proven to be effective. The permanent rate is an upper limit that by law can never be raised.

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Evergreen HuckleberryThe District will prioritize funding on effective ways to combat noxious weeds, improve fish passage, control soil erosion, and work with landowners to cooperatively protect natural areas. The District may support landowners seeking to purchase conservation agreements to protect drinking water, natural areas, or farmland. It will use funds to strengthen support for conservation education programs, such as high school natural resource camps and the Envirothon (an annual national environmental education competition for students).

Funding will allow a modest increase of staff, who will provide landowner technical assistance and strengthen partnerships with watershed councils and natural resource organizations. It will also enable the District to attract additional funds from foundations and other agencies for the benefit of West Multnomah County and Sauvies Island.

The District provides assistance to help protect and support a productive greenbelt around the City of Portland, including local fiber and food production from agricultural land on Sauvies Island and the northwest natural area corridor, and these essential programs will be furthered by future funding. Such support will also allow ongoing and improved targeted assistance to priority watersheds, such as Sauvies Island (Sturgeon Lake), Fanno Creek, Balch Creek, McCarthy Creek, and Tryon Creek. The District will also work with land trusts and the Oregon Department of Agriculture to support working farms.

The demand for services the District can provide, including natural resource education, conservation planning, and technical assistance, has increased over the past several years, while support from local, state and federal governments has diminished. If its vital programs are going to continue, the District needs funds generated by passage of Measure 26-82 to support and further ongoing initiatives to protect and enhance clean water and wildlife habitat in West Multnomah County and Sauvies Island.