City Finances

At this time, Friends of Local Control are studying the feasibility of incorporating as a city and are not engaged in a formal incorporation process. If research affirms that it is feasible and practical to form a new city, the actual steps for doing so are specified under Oregon law. Two of these steps specifically address city finances: Completion of an Economic Feasibility Study, and creation of first and third year city budgets. Visit the Steps to Form a City Page for more details on the process.

Steps to Form
a City

Clackamas County assesses a property tax rate of $2.9736/$1000 assessed value in the unincorporated areas, and $2.4042/$1000 in cities. The discrepancy is due to services provided by the county to unincorporated areas but not to cities, such as code enforcement, planning and animal control. All county residents pay for the following services:

 (per $1000 assessed value)
Soil and Conservation District$0.0500
Vector Control $0.0065
Library District$0.3974
County Extension and 4H$0.0500
Clackamas Comm. College$0.5582
Public Safety$0.2480

In addition, the study area pays for the following services through property taxes:

 (per $1000 assessed value)
Enhanced Sheriff District$0.7198
Clackamas County Fire District #1$2.4012
North Clackamas Parks District $0.5382
School District$4.8701 or $4.9629*
*Most of the study area is within the North Clackamas School District boundary. Part of the southern portion of the study area is within the Oregon City School District boundary. The NCSD rate is $4.8701, the OCSD rate is $4.9629.

The Tax Rate In Neighboring Cities Are:

 (per $1000 assessed value)
Barlow $0.5894
Happy Valley $0.6710
West Linn $2.1200
Tualatin $2.2665
Wilsonville $2.5206
Estacada $2.6749
Damascus $3.3000
Canby $3.4886
Milwaukie $4.0660
Oregon City$4.1590
Lake Oswego$4.9703

There are a variety of revenue sources available to Oregon cities, including fuel, alcohol and tobacco taxes; public utility, licensing and business fees; franchise fees. All of these options would be evaluated and considered in preparing the Economic Feasibility Study and the first and third year budgets for a Petition to Incorporate. No specific tax rate for the study area has been determined or recommended.

One tax model being reviewed for the study area uses the difference between the two county rates ($0.5754), plus the Enhanced Sheriff District rate ($0.7198), to determine if that amount ($1.2952), when combined with other sources of revenue, is sufficient to operate a new city without raising the current level of property taxes.

If a city were formed, government agencies (except the Enhanced Sheriff District) currently providing services to the area would continue to do so through Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA's). Those agencies would operate as they currently do, and there would be no changes to their funding sources. Visit the Area Governance page for more information on other agencies that provide services to the area.