Tax levy would help fund 4-H, Master Gardeners

Tax levy would help fund 4-H, Master Gardeners »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. -- Supporters of Lane County's extension service held a rally Tuesday night in support of a property tax increase.

Money raised through the levy would help finance the extension service, which had one-third of its budget cut in 2008 by the Lane County Board of Commissioners.

The rest of extension's funding comes from a mix of federal and state revenue. The program is administered by Oregon State University, Oregon's land-grant school.

If the tax increase doesn't pass, many of extension's popular services would fold, said Steve Dodrill, the extension's director in Lane County.

"What goes away is local 4-H, local gardening, local food preservation," Dodrill said. "We have these programs at the state level, but the question is, 'do we have these programs locally?'"

To keep those programs, supporters are backing measures 20 and 158, which would create a new property tax of 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

The money would go to a fund that supports the extension's education programs, such as "Master Gardeners," which provides classes and growing tips for Lane County green thumbs.

The measure is set for the May ballot.