September 19, 2018

Parks and Recreation Update:

Yesterday, the Tax Court ordered the Oregon Department of Revenue to approve the City’s withdrawal from the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD).

As a result, Happy Valley is out of NCPRD. The City is excited to be one step closer to becoming the parks and recreation provider for Happy Valley. Clackamas County has consistently offered to support a smooth transition in parks services. However, the County has filed another lawsuit against the City in Circuit Court that could prevent the City from becoming the parks provider, again. The City is hopeful the County will drop this most recent opposition and allow us to settle all remaining disputes. This would allow the City to best serve the residents of Happy Valley while providing financial certainty to the rest of the district.

Many residents have expressed questions about what this will mean for taxes. With this recent decision, it assures that Happy Valley properties will not be double-taxed. The County has indicated they will honor the Tax Court’s decision and not tax Happy Valley properties. At the same time, the voters of Happy Valley overwhelmingly approved a parks levy indicating the community’s support for the City to manage the parks and recreation programs. Accordingly, the City will begin collecting the parks levy which is the same tax rate as previously charged by NCPRD ($0.54 per $1,000 of assessed value). This ensures tax dollars stay right here in Happy Valley. The City is also collecting system development charges (SDCs) from new developments to pay for future park assets. We look forward to developing recreation programs and building more parks for all our residents.

For those who are interested in reading the ruling, here is a full copy.

If anyone have questions, please contact Ben Bryant at 503-783-3840 or benb@happyvalleyor.gov.