Another election is coming up for Columbia County residents.
Nov. 5, 2019 is the date for the Special Election, which will be an all-measure ballot. Four measures will be available to Columbia County voters. Three of the measures are city-specific, and one is geared toward the entire county.
The City of Scappoose will have measure 5-275 on their ballot, a three-cent fuel tax for street repairs and safety projects. If passed, the measure will tax residents three cents per gallon of fuel for fuel purchased in the city in order to fund street repairs and pedestrian safety projects, including sidewalks, according to the ballot summary.
“Many of the city’s streets were built more than 40 years ago and are deteriorating,” the measure summary states. “The tax revenue may only be used for construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair and maintenance of streets and sidewalks within the city.”
The measure also states the tax will sunset, or end, after 10 years.
In Rainier, residents will vote on measure 5-276, which concerns a five-year local option tax for cemetery operations at the Rainier Cemetery District. According to the measure, the Rainier Cemetery District five-year local option tax would impose a $0.07 per $1,000 of assessed property value for five years to fund cemetery operations. The measure also sates the tax might cause property taxes to increase by more than three percent.
“Without this additional revenue the district will be unable to replace equipment and hire additional staff required for the operation of the district’s twelve cemeteries,” the measure summary states.
The five-year tax will raise a total of $540,735, according to the measure summary.
Measure 26-206 renews a five-year local option levy for general operating purposes of the Sauvie Island Rural Fire Protection District (RFPD). This measure asks residents to approve a continuation of a $0.35 per $1,000 of assessed property value for five years of operation of the district. The measure would begin 2020-2021 and renews current local option taxes.
“Anticipated uses of funds include state required medical testing for all firefighters, required Federal and OSHA testing of equipment and of firefighters use of equipment, physical testing of firefighters and their abilities, annual servicing and safety inspections of vehicles and equipment, including funds for replacement, and continuing volunteer training and certification,” the measure states.
The final measure is something all Columbia County residents will vote on, and that is measure 5-277 to establish a Columbia County Rider Transit District. The measure asks county residents to approve a transit district with a tax rate of $0.18 per $1,000 of assessed property value at the beginning of fiscal year 2021.
If passed, the measure will provide permanent local funding for the Columbia County Rider (CC Rider) public transit system. The tax is expected to generate $1,038,422 in its first year, growing to $1,446,328 by the tenth year of having been formed. The measure also states that, for a property valued at $200,000 per year, the rate would amount to $36 per year.
“CC Rider will continue to operate as a department of Columbia County, and the District will be governed by the Board of County Commissioners for Columbia County,” the measure states.
The measure summary also adds that the district will include the area within the boundaries of Columbia County, except for Prescott City, which did not consent to inclusion.
Mailing of ballots for Columbia County will begin Oct. 16, according to the Columbia County Elections Department. The last day for a new voter to register to vote is Oct. 15. The county clerk must receive ballots by no later than 8 p.m. on Nov. 5. Residents are advised to not mail their ballots any later than Oct. 31.