One of the most important tasks we have as City Council members is ensuring your tax dollars are well spent. Of your property tax dollars, only 4% comes to the City for general operations. 8% goes towards Public Safety, as voted by Happy Valley residents. The other 88% of your tax bill goes to other service providers such as the North Clackamas School District, Clackamas Fire, Clackamas County, and more. As a City Council, all we control are the tax dollars for general city services and police.
Just this last month, we had our annual Budget Committee meeting to discuss how city tax dollars and other revenues are spent. Like many cities, the Happy Valley Municipal Code follows Oregon State Law by requiring an annual budget to be balanced and adopted by the City Council no later than the end of June. Getting to this point involves a review of prior trends, projections for the future, and analysis. Most importantly, it involves input and approval from the Budget Committee which includes five local residents and the City Council members.
The City is in a positive financial position. This allows us to continue funding the services that you have come to expect such as street sweeping, maintenance of public areas, code enforcement, land use planning, economic development, and community events.
In addition, we have been able to prioritize a few new items this year, including:
- Funding for 2 new police officers
- Funding for 1 new librarian
- Additional reserves for future capital assets such as a new public works facility
- Increase in street maintenance projects due to higher gas taxes approved by the state legislature
It’s exciting to be able to continually improve city services and facilities. We know there are many more needs in the community and we will keep striving to meet our goals for the future.
While the budget may have been a major focus this last month for us on City Council, our City staff prioritizes the budget daily. We’re so proud of the work our entire team does throughout the year to manage our resources. It’s going to be another great year ahead.