, Ore. (KMTR) -- In recent years, Corvallis has been forced to make major cuts to public safety and the proposed tax could be a way to raise revenue.
The discussions continue in Corvallis
about a possible new tax to help fund public safety. The public safety tax would be added to people's utility bills. Its funds would allow the reopening of Fire Station Number 5, which was shut down last year due to lack of funding. It would also add eighteen new employees, including six police officers.
At a meeting Wednesday with the Corvallis Administrative Services Committee, about ten citizens voiced their concerns. Many believe any new tax should go to a public vote. The city says nothing is official. A number of options are still being discussed.
“They're also looking at whether or not a property tax levy is an option they would pursue. Not adding any of the positions, keeping the station closed, is also an alternative that is on the table,” says Nancy Brewer, Finance Director for the City of Corvallis. “So, they're really looking at everything in terms of how they're balancing the city's operations and demands for service.”
The public safety tax was first discussed during a city council meeting on February 4. Council members at the meeting voted 5 to 2 to continue considering the tax, but even those who voted in favor expressed concerns about bypassing voters.
Brewer says the city is still many months away from making any decisions. Once they have more data and estimates on what a tax might look like, they'll open it up for more public discussion.