MY view • Portland voters once again need to approve a badly needed five-year property tax levy to maintain our parks and park services

Voters will decide this fall whether they want to put a five-year levy on Portlanders' property taxes to restore parks and park services in the city.

The levy would provide the city's parks bureau with about $50 million for five years, beginning in 2003, to restore basic park maintenance reduced since 1997, repair playing fields and restore funding for after-school tutoring and other programs.

The proposed levy is 39 cents per $1,000 in assessed value of property, meaning that the owner of a $150,000 house would pay $59 more in property taxes per year.

The parks levy was approved by about two-thirds of city voters in last May's primary but failed because voter turnout for the election was less than 50 percent. Property tax increases can be approved during primary elections only with a majority of votes and when more than 50 percent of the voters cast ballots, which is referred to as the double-majority provision. The rule does not apply in November general elections.

Ballots for the vote-by-mail election will be in the mail on Oct. 18.

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