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City of Bend to hold 2023-25 budget meetings next week

City of Bend

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The City of Bend Budget Committee, which is comprised of seven City Councilors and an equal number of community members, will discuss the proposed 2023-25 budget in public meetings next Monday and Tuesday, May 22 and 23.

The two-year budget’s operational revenues are $480.1 million. Of the $480.1 million of City-wide operating revenues, $136.1 million is in the City’s General Fund. The General Fund mostly consists of property taxes. Assessed property tax revenues are expected to increase 5% per year. Property taxes and the General Fund primarily fund police, fire and street maintenance services.   

Water, sewer, stormwater (in the Utility Department) and the Community and Economic Development Department permit center operate more like businesses; fees associated with the services provided in those areas cover the cost of doing business.

The largest portion of the proposed budget is from planned investments in infrastructure, including projects improving water, sewer, stormwater and transportation infrastructure. Personnel services expenses, which include salary and benefit costs for City employees, represent the second largest category of spending in the proposed budget.

City Council officially kicked off the 2023-25 budget process with an overview of the proposed budget to the Budget Committee and receipt of the City Manager’s budget message on May 3.

“The 2023-2025 biennial budget reflects revenue pressures associated with modest revenue growth forecasts and headwinds associated with a potentially slowing economy,” City Manager Eric King said. “There is an imbalance of money coming in versus money going out across most funds.”

Property tax revenues are limited by state law, and Bend has one of the lowest property tax rates in the state. Because of legislatively cut-and-capped property tax growth, many jurisdictions in Oregon seek levies, bonds or other revenue sources to help fill funding gaps.  Without local control of property tax rates, tax revenue doesn’t match Bend’s rapidly-increasing needs.

The proposed budget reflects funding increases that are needed to keep operations at current service levels.  The City is strategically targeting specific fees for specific priority needs. Public safety, transportation and housing are consistent community priorities and there are a few revenue options that are in the City’s control that can help with those core service areas, including a fire levy, a possible transportation fee and permit fees in Community and Economic Development.

“We recognize that these are tough economic times for many people, and the City shares some of the same challenges of increasing, inflationary costs,” said Mayor Melanie Kebler. “While we are sensitive to these concerns, we also need to balance the needs and expectations of this fast-growing community.” 

Documents related to the proposed budget are available at

Here is Budget Committee meeting information for May 22 and for May 23. Meetings will be held at the Fire Training Center, 63377 NE Jamison Street, will start at 4 p.m., and will be hybrid and livestreamed.

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