Community Safety System Long-term Funding
While the City Council approved one-time, 18-month bridge funding to support Community Safety, the total needed for longer-term system stability is approximately $23.6 million per year, which includes the $8.6 million bridge.
Revenue Team Recommends Payroll Tax
A Community Safety Revenue Team was formed to develop a funding recommendation for the City Manager. The team was responsible for identifying, evaluating and developing revenue funding strategies to support the needs of the Community Safety System. The Revenue Team recommended implementing a payroll tax to provide funding to support $23.6 million in community safety services on an annual basis.
City Council Passes Community Safety Payroll Tax Ordinance
At their June 10 work session, the Eugene City Council passed the community safety payroll tax ordinance that will provide on-going, sustainable funding for city-wide public safety efforts.
Proposed Monthly Cost to Minimum Wage Employees
* As of July 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Eugene will be $12 per hour.
Proposed Monthly Cost to Employees Earning $12.01-$15/hour
Proposed Monthly Cost to Employees at Various Hourly Wages Above $15/hour
Proposed Monthly Cost to Employers (2 or Less Employees) with Annual Gross Payroll of $100,000
**An employer with two employees or less would receive a reduced rate of .0015 on the first $100,000 of payroll.
Proposed Monthly Cost to Employers (More than 2 Employees) with Annual Gross Payroll of $500,000
From Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz
The Community Safety Revenue Team’s recommendation is to provide sustainable, reliable and fair funding through a modest Council-implemented employer and employee payroll tax.
The community believes the problem is significant and urgent, as expressed in their response to Gary Manross’ Summer 2018 survey, a subsequent online survey of over 2,400 people, and at dozens of presentations by Eugene Police Chief Skinner and Eugene Springfield Fire Chief Zaludek.
In the Manross survey, respondents’ top three priorities for spending tax dollars were:
- Addressing homelessness
- Increasing the number of sworn police officers
- Enhancing police services
If we do nothing different, we will fail to meet community safety needs for hundreds of our friends, family members, and neighbors. Response times will continue to increase, more calls will go unanswered or not responded to, fewer people in the community justice system will have opportunities to stabilize their life, and overall system capacity will continue to diminish.
The approach we are using to solve this problem is reasonable, sensible and responsible. We address the problem as a system, using an evidence-based approach with a focus on what works. We incorporate 21st Century Policing philosophies and principles, and best practices from other jurisdictions across the country. Input from key stakeholders and the broader community has been paramount. The components of Community Safety (Police, fire, 911, municipal court, homelessness, and related social services) are intertwined and must be viewed together. Adding capacity to one component must account for the subsequently increased needs in the other components.
We know that taxes of any kind impact families, but investment in the community safety system comes with a cost. Knowing this, we have listened to the community through surveys, meetings, conversations, committees and one-on-one discussions. We worked hard to maximize the use of existing resources and only included items that address the problems.
We also know that the impact of doing nothing, and failing to address the ongoing resource limitations of our community safety system will have an increasingly negative effect on the community and those we serve. The community safety needs are urgent, and working with the community, we are finding ways to support our shared safety values.
The Community Safety Revenue Team is comprised of the following members:
- Councilor Emily Semple (Ward 1)
- Councilor Jennifer Yeh (Ward 4)
- Councilor Chris Pryor (Ward 8)
- Scott Nowicki (Budget Committee Chair)
- Eliza Kashinsky (Budget Committee member)
- Bill Whalen (Police Commission Chair)
- John Barofsky (former Budget Committee Chair)
- Laura Illig (former Budget Committee Chair)
- Approximately 65% of the funding will go toward police services including: 40 patrol officers, 5 detectives, 4 sergeants, 10 community service officers, 9.5 staff for 911, animal welfare and traffic safety officers, and evidence control and forensic analysts.
- Approximately 10% will go to fire and emergency medical services including the creation of a 911 triage program and field triage/community response unit.
- Approximately 10% will go toward prevention and homelessness services including adding emergency shelters, a day center and funding after school programs at Title 1 schools.
- Approximately 15% will go to Municipal Court services including opening third courtroom with staffing, expanding community court and mental health court programs and adding 10 jail beds and increased jail services.
How the Funds Will Be Spent
Download and print a one-page summary of the problem, plan, results and funding proposal.
- Why do the City’s community safety services need more funding?
- How did the Council decide on a payroll tax?
- What is a payroll tax?
- Who would contribute to the proposed payroll tax and how much would it cost?
- Will public employees have to pay the payroll tax?
- What do I get for my money?
- How will the City be held accountable with money earned from the payroll tax?
- Where does Community Safety funding come from now?
- Why isn’t money from the marijuana tax, or other taxes, being used instead of a payroll tax?
- Can I submit written comments online about the payroll tax ordinance?
- Will I get to vote for the payroll tax?
- How long will it take for the tax to go into effect?
- Does Oregon have a payroll tax?