EUGENE, Ore. -- After the OSU Extension Service lost its annual $560,000 dolllars funding from Lane County, the program's volunteers are asking voters to pay for the program with their property taxes. EXTENDED INTERVIEWS: Pro | Con
How much money will it raise?
If Measure 20-158 is approved, property owners would pay $10 a year for every $200,000 their home is valued. The levy would generate about $1.2 million each year for five years.
Opponents have charged the measure is excessive. One group, Friends 4 Better Solutions, says tax would nearly double the Extension Service's budget.
Extension Service supporters disagree.
As shown in budget documents, the Extension Service is currently operating on a $1 million budget. If approved, the money generated by the measure would increase the 2009-2010 budget by about 113 percent. Local funding would increase by about 93 percent.
But it's not that simple.
In the 2007-2008 fiscal year, the last year it received funding from Lane County, the Extension Service's operated on a $1.6 million budget. Funding from the ballot measure would still be an increase from that figure, but not double. It also represents a 33 percent increase in local funding.
What does Measure 20-158 pay for?
The creators of the measure have put together this funding package showing how the money would be used.
- $572,427 for the salaries of 10 employees for its programs (positions eliminated when county funding was lost) (This story has been edited to correct a typo. The ballot measure funding package includes $572,427 for 10 employees, not $772,427 as shown in an earlier version of this story. You can see the salary for each proposed employee in the funding package link.)
- $280,000 for program-wide expenses, like building rent, maintenance and office equipment
- $270,000 dollars for expenses for the 4-H Youth, Horticulture, Family and Community Health and Forestry and Natural Resources programs
- $56,121.35 dollars for an emergency fund
CON: Cliff Kelley is a member of Friends 4 Better Solutions, which is urging Lane County residents to vote against Measure 20-158.