Levy renewal key for police, library


The levy renewals for the Sweet Home Police Department and the Sweet Home Library are on this November’s ballot and I will be voting “yes” to renew both of them.

It’s easy to say “no” to increased taxes, as stated in a previous letter to the editor. However, in our case, with our local option levies, it would not save us money and will not keep their doors open – that money would go to the county for their services and not stay in Sweet Home.

The reality is that the City of Sweet Home has one of the lowest permanent tax rates in all of Oregon, at only $1.42/$1,000 of valuation. In comparison, Lebanon’s tax rate is $5.14 and Albany is $6.40. A $150,000 home in Sweet Home not under compression paid $213 for their property taxes minus the levies. That same $150,000 home in Lebanon would pay $771, in Albany they would pay $960.

The city collected a little over $640,000 in property taxes last year to: maintain parks and streets, run the building and planning department, conduct economic development efforts, support downtown beautification efforts, sidewalks, street sweeping, maintain the finances and comply with state reporting mandates, etc… there’s a lot to do and not enough to do it without the levy money. We need these levies to provide public safety and our local library.

The Sweet Home Library fills a crucial need in our community; the levies provide everything from wireless internet access to weekly reading programs to resources connections for seniors and recently a wonderful opportunity – through a partnership with OSU to provide mentorship and tutoring during this challenging time for our local students.

The Sweet Home Police Department provides the essential services for patrolling our streets, deterring crime and working to find solutions and solve problems throughout our community.

The reality is, we need these levies to maintain the quality of life in our community that we have come to know. Nobody enjoys paying taxes, but without them we will be without our library and without local law enforcement.

By voting “yes” to renew the two local option levies. we keep the doors to our library and Police Department open.

Thank you. My wife and I love this community and the people that make it so very special.

Jim Gourley

Sweet Home