School bond and tax elections in Oregon happen under two circumstances:
Under Oregon law, any school district must have a ballot question to the district's voters in order to issue new bonds. Oregon allows bonds to be issued depending on how a school board calls for the bonds to be used specifically written via the resolution approving the bonds.
All bonds cannot exceed 13 percent of a district's total outstanding debt. The County Treasurer is the custodian of all bonds issued to school districts in the respective county and the terms of each bond varies as far for selling value and restrictions are dependent on the resolution approved calling for an bond issue referendum.
The Oregon Constitution mandates a property tax cap for all classes of property in the State of Oregon. Property tax increases under the cap are limited to three percent. Under the Constitution, this goes into affect for all property tax increases after 1997.
Oregon requires a ballot measure if a school district seeks to exceed a levy, to fund pension and disability obligations for a school district or to exceed or reduce the property tax levy as part of the mandated property tax cap that is constitutionally protected.
Oregon is one of a handful of states that protects a debt limit through the Oregon Constitution.
School boards can levy taxes at a mill rate not exceeding the statutorily prescribed mill rate for a period not to exceed five years; however, a petition may be filed by electors in the district on the question of whether the tax should be levied.
The City or County clerk is responsible for overseeing elections dependent on which level the ballot measure qualified is addressed to. The city clerk is responsible for one municipality while the county is responsible for the election if the ballot measure is county-wide.
Any election involving the Oregon Property Tax Cap must be held during a even numbered year. All other elections must be held during the same time as a statewide general or primary election.
Oregon has a unique super-majority requirement for all elections involving the constitutionally protected Oregon Property Tax Cap Act in that in order for ballot measure to pass, 50 percent of the district's registered voters must show up regardless of the margin of victory in election. All other elections require a simple majority vote including bond issues.
A district elections authority can call for a special election to be held only on the second Tuesday in March, the third Tuesday in May, the third Tuesday in September, or the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Special elections may be held on a date other than the allowed dates if the district elections authority via a approved resolution finds that a election needs to be held as soon as possible to finance repairs to property damaged by fire, vandalism or a natural disaster.
Under Oregon law, all ballot measures must have a caption of not more than 10 words to headline the measure, a question of no more than 20 words that lists the purpose of the ballot question, a concise and impartial statement of not more than 175 words summarizing the measure and its major effect, along with a response of "I Vote Yes" or "I vote No."
61 days notice is required before any election involving a referendum at the state or local level can occur.
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