Gresham utility fee moves forward

Gresham utility fee moves forward

Gresham is going forward with a modified version of the $7.50 monthly utility fee it proposed in September.

The city's permanent property tax rate is stuck at a level from when 70,000 people lived there, not able to keep up with the current 106,000 residents.

The new version would still raise $3.5 million needed to maintain current levels of public safety and parks maintenance, but it also would increase the share businesses would pay, allow a phase-in for apartment buildings and limiting the fee to a 17-month life.

“At some point these budget constraints start to break the system,” said Mayor Shane Bemis, who championed the fee. “We’ll either take a vote to increase revenue or take a vote to close a fire station.”


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