Judge Authorizes Community Improvement Bond Sales

Posted on January 6, 2023

Salem, Ore. – The City of Salem has been cleared to sell bonds from the Community Improvement Bond measure passed in November 2022. Before that could happen, the City had to pursue a judicial remedy to a technical error found in the ballot title describing the bond.

On January 4, 2023, a Marion County Circuit Court judge issued a judgment validating the voters’ approval and authorizing sale of the bonds. No one appeared in opposition during the proceedings, which means the bond sales can move forward. We anticipate the first bond sale as early as February.

While that process was moving through the court, necessary work and public notices related to the bond continued to assure that bond funds would be available once the issue was resolved.

Proceeds from the $300 million bond will allow the City to fund a 10-year plan to increase funding for street upgrades, sidewalk construction and repair, construction of bicycle facilities, replacement of old fire engines and equipment, updating information technology and cybersecurity tools, acquiring property for future affordable housing developments, fire stations, and two branch libraries; and complete earthquake safety upgrades to the Salem Civic Center.

The bond will be paid off over 30 years and will maintain City of Salem bonded tax rates at the current levels.

The error involved a required statement that was omitted explaining that property taxes for general obligation bonds are not subject to property tax limitations passed in the 1990s.

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