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Police Levy is Fair and Reasonable

To the Editor:

The ballots have arrived and you are probably wondering why the city of West Linn is asking for more money to fund the Police Department.

I went to the town hall last week and asked questions: Is the cost of our police comparable to other local police departments? Why do we have a police levy? And where does our overall West Linn tax rate fit in with other communities?

I was pleased with the responses. The overall West Linn tax rate, including the levy, is only $3.26 per thousand, significantly less than four of our neighbor cities.

Lake Oswego pays 75 percent more city taxes at $5.72/$1,000, Oregon City pays 61 percent more at $5.25 and Milwaukie pays 27 percent more at $4.16.

The levy is required because West Linn's general fund rate was capped at about half of other local communities by measures 47 and 50 in 1996-1997.

Back then we were a much less developed rural community and our tax rates did not include the municipal services that we now expect of a city.

Levies are the only way to fund the service levels that we expect, want and need for our parks, recreation, library, roads, etc. This levy does not add any new officers and our police department staffing is comparable to that of other local police departments.

This is local government at its best. Whether you support the levy or not, please vote. Do it now while you are thinking about it and before you misplace your ballot.

More information can be found at www.keepourcops.org

Dean Suhr

West Linn