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Local Budgeting Manual, 150-504-420 - Oregon State Library - State ...

Local Budgeting Manual, 150-504-420 - Oregon State Library - State ...

A local government may

A local government may call a tax election when the revenue needed to balance the budget is more than the government’s existing taxing authority. The tax election process is not tied directly to the budget process. However, the two processes are usually closely coordinated. Taxing authority may be voted on before the budget process begins, during the budget process, or after the end of the budget process. The budget committee should include any anticipated additional tax authority in its approved budget. Include the amount of additional tax being requested even if the election has not been held. Holding the election after the budget committee meetings, but before the adoption hearing, allows the governing body to adopt a budget using known taxing authority. If the tax request passes, no revision to the budget is needed before it is adopted. If the tax fails, the budget can be revised, or another election scheduled. If the governing body decides to increase the tax amount above the amount approved by the budget committee and hold a second election, republication of the budget summary and another budget hearing are required. When a local government’s taxing authority has not been finally determined by June 30 because of a tax election scheduled in September, the local government should take the following steps: • By June 30, enact a resolution or ordinance adopting the budget and making appropriations incorporating the additional taxes, and • By July 15, send a written request to the county assessor for an extension of time to certify tax. After the election, the local government then adopts the resolution or ordinance to impose and categorize the taxes. All of the tax certification documents are submitted to the assessor by the extension date granted. More details on how to adopt a budget by June 30 when the tax hasn’t been approved by voters are given in OAR 150-294.435(1)(B). Elections Division Chapter 11—Tax Elections Laws governing the conduct of elections in Oregon are administered by the Elections Division of the Secretary of State. Administrative rules and directives are issued by the Secretary of State to provide uniform elections administration. The Elections Division distributes a series of election manuals, including the City Elections Manual, County Elections Manual, and District Elections Manual, to all 36 county clerks who serve as county elections officers. 45 Copies are then available locally. Persons responsible for coordinating elections for a local government should work closely with the county elections officer so elections run smoothly. In most counties, the county clerk will provide a copy of the appropriate manual to each voting district in the county. The Elections Division will also answer questions and help solve problems. The manuals provide current election dates and a calendar for special districts showing the final filing dates for various types of elections. Information is also provided on emergency elections for special districts and school districts. An elections timeline for special districts, cities, and counties shows the activities as they occur in the general order of the election cycle. Required forms are in the elections manuals and may help answer questions about types of elections, ballot format, and content required by law. For additional help on taxing ballot measures, call the Department of Revenue. Remember that the county clerk and the Secretary of State administer election laws. The Department of Revenue administers property tax laws. An approved ballot measure must follow all election and taxation laws. If a voter-approved measure fails to meet the requirements of the law, the Department of Revenue must void a part or all of the tax (ORS 310.070). Refer to OAR 150-280.075 for detailed ballot wording requirements. Preparation of a Tax Ballot Measure The ballot title for a tax measure consists of: 1. Caption: limited to 10 words. It is a title identifying the measure. 2. Question: 20-word limit. The question asks the voters if they will allow the district to impose an amount of tax or a tax rate. Examples are: to establish a permanent rate for local governments that have never levied a tax, and to authorize a local option tax for general operating purposes or a specific purpose. State this in a question format which can be answered “yes” or “no.” In addition, a “yes” response to the question must mean the voters approve the measure, while a “no” response must mean the voters do not approve the measure. Note that the word “district” can be substituted if the full name of the local government is in the ballot measure summary. The ballot question must state the length, in years, that the proposed local option tax is to be imposed and the first fiscal year in which the local option tax will be imposed [ORS 280.070(5)].

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