REDMOND, OR -- A proposal to boost Redmond's property tax rate by 64-cents per $1,000 dollars of assessed value, from $4.41 to $5.05, to pay for parks and more police isn't likely to make the November's ballot. The additional $1.2 million in city revenue was to be used to hire three more full-time Parks Department employees, parks capital improvement projects and hire four more police officers.
City Manager Keith Witcosky plans to recommend City Councilors drop the idea, at Tuesday's meeting. He tells KBND News a recent poll of 240 residents shows it's not the right time for such a ballot measure, "What we found out is that about 48% of the people thought it was probably a good idea and they would be willing to raise their taxes, and a lot didn't; it would basically be a coin toss to have it pass this fall. But, that coin toss would've cost $150,000 to flip, because we'd have to raise that much money privately, in order to fund the campaign."
In the survey, participants were asked what they thought was Redmond's most important issue. Witcosky says nearly 18% said it was "growth and managing growth; 13% is traffic and congestion, 11% is affordable housing, 5% is Education, 4% is crime and public safety, and 2.6% is parks and recreational opportunities." Also noted in the survey, 55% of respondents believe the city already has enough or "the right amount of officers," and nearly 86% rate the city's 26 parks as "excellent" or "good."
There are no plans to revive the issue of parks funding in the near future. Witcosky says, "I'm not going to say, 'Oh! 2020 might be,' because we don't know. But, we just know right now, the polling just doesn't support it at all." Although, he says the city may still look at ways to increase revenue to increase police staffing.