EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – As the city of Eugene enters into the execution of its fiscal year 2013 budget on July 1st, city planners are looking to the long-term fiscal future of Eugene and the possibility of new taxes.
Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz says while the budget is balanced for the next year, current revenue streams will not support all of the existing services and jobs that the city has today, down the road.
In a Wednesday, June 20th, 2012, city council meeting, Ruiz asked Eugene City Councilors to investigate ways for the city to generate more money.
The ideas are numerous. However, nothing has been decided what-so-ever.
Ruiz says a new revenue source could be one or a combination of various things like a restaurant tax, payroll tax, utility tax, a monthly city fee, a local sales tax or something totally different.
The city has not committee to anything yet, rather, Ruiz says the idea is to open the conversation at this point so that the city may tackle a new revenue source over the next year.
Ruiz says a new revenue stream is really one of the few ways to make the city’s budget sustainable in the long term.
"I want to stress, there's absolutely no decisions made at all, this is the very beginning of this process there will be a lot of opportunities for input,” said Ruiz in an interview with NewsSource 16 on Thursday, June 21st, 2012.
“There could be a combination of things to include, ongoing reductions in current services as well as potentially new revenue sources to fill some of the gaps and to potentially fund new additional services that the community says it would like to invest in,” said Ruiz.
The Eugene city manager’s office says the new tax ideas should be debated over the next year with the possibility of something going in by next July of 2013.
Meantime, the city manager’s office will create two budget for the next year, one with the new revenue source and one without it.
There is one tax that will likely go to voters in November of 2012: a continuation of the street repair bond measure.
A citizen panel has recommended extending the street repair bond for the city, which is paid for my residents in the form of a property tax.
To read more about the street repair bond extension, click the following link to an original NewsSource 16 story on the issue: http://www.kmtr.com/news/local/story/Eugene-citizen-panel-recommends-extending-street/GCnbXXBFAE64kJ3eLwG5xw.cspx