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Politics & Government

Corvallis Asks Voters To Fund Library, Parks, Aquatic Center

Chris Lehman

Voters in Corvallis will decide in May whether to approve a tax levy that would fund the city’s library, parks and swimming pool.

City officials say if voters reject the levy, they would be forced to close popular destinations such as the downtown Majestic Theatre, the Chintimini Senior & Community Center and the Osborn Aquatic Center. The levy's failure would also lead to reduced hours at the Corvallis Library, reduced park maintenance and the cancellation of the park department's classes, sports programs, camps and concerts. Additionally, the city says more than 400 city employees would be out of a job.

Corvallis Mayor Biff Traber said he's confident voters will approve it. “These are services that make Corvallis what it is,” he said. "I'm optimistic, but that's part of going to the voters is to let them have the chance to say."

The measure would raise about $6 million per year. If approved, property owners won’t see a change on their tax bill. That’s because the levy will replace expiring property tax levies that largely fund the same programs.

Credit Chris Lehman / KLCC
The Majestic Theatre in Corvallis.

There were no arguments against the levy in the voter's pamphlet, and there are no political action committees registered in opposition.

A committee registered in support of the measure, Friends of Corvallis, has raised nearly $20,000 in support of the tax.

The "local option levy" is above and beyond the base city property tax rate. "You do what you can with the base rate," said Traber. That funds core services such as the police department, as well as a portion of the library and park services. "But it doesn't fund them all," he said.

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