Why voters should reject Measure 2-121:
The South Corvallis Urban Renewal District
1. Measure 2-121 walls off millions of taxpayer dollars and will lead to increased fees and taxes for everyone.
• The City Council claims this is not a tax increase. However, voters must be made aware that the Measure locks up tens of millions of dollars for up to 30 years that would otherwise be used for services that benefit all Corvallis residents — not just those in the south end of town.
• Because of this massive reduction in future tax revenue, residents and property owners will likely be burdened with increased fees and taxes for road maintenance, parks and recreation, police and fire safety, etc.
2. This is only the latest example of increased taxes and fees for Corvallis residents and property owners.
• The City Council voted unanimously last November for a $5 million per-year “public safety fee.” This will be tacked onto the city services bill that all property owners and businesses pay, starting July 1st.
• The City increased transportation maintenance fee rates by 177% in July 2017.
• Last May, Corvallis voters were asked to approve a property tax hike to fund a $199 million school bond.
• This May, voters will be asked to decide on the renewal of the city’s five-year, $29 million property tax levy for parks, recreation, and library services.
3. Measure 2-121 hands a $33.6 million blank check to the Corvallis City Council with no guarantees about how the borrowed money will be spent.
• According to the Plan, all funds will be spent “at the discretion of the Agency.”
• Vague language is used throughout the Plan. For example:
i. “Project funds may be used for activities that support the development or rehabilitation of low-income affordable housing.”
ii. “Urban renewal in South Corvallis could provide funding for projects to do the following…”
4. Voters rejected a similar plan in 2009 to create a renewal district in downtown Corvallis.
• That measure failed, in part, because it would have benefited only certain residents and businesses in a small part of town, but at the cost of the entire city. Measure 2-121 is no different.
• Downtown Corvallis is thriving today without increasing city debt or further burdening the next generation of taxpayers.
For these reasons, Benton County Republicans recommend
a NO vote on Measure 2-121.