Salem Chamber of Commerce Supports the $300 Million Community Infrastructure Bond, on the November Ballot
One of the biggest and most impactful policy initiatives facing Salem is one where Salem voters will have the opportunity to have their voices heard directly. In November, Salem residents will see a $300 million community improvement bond on their ballot.
Here is a breakdown of what will be funded in this bond package:
- Streets and Sidewalks: $157 million
- Sites for Future Development: Branch Libraries and Affordable Housing: $7.5 million
- Park Upgrades: $28.4 million
- Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund: $10 million
- Fire Engines and Equipment: $26 million
- Civic Center Earthquake Safety: $39.5 million
- Technology and Cybersecurity: $17.6 million
- Sites for Two New Fire Stations: $14 million
Several previous bond measures will be retired and removed from the tax rolls over the next decade, providing up to $300 million to invest – without increasing tax rates. If the proposed bond passes, the Salem bond rate would remain at $1.20 per $1,000 of assessed value. The average estimated tax rate over the life of the proposed bond is $0.67 per $1,000 of assessed value or $134 annually / $11.17 monthly for an average house (assessed value of $200,000) in Salem. If the proposed bond does not pass, the Salem bond rate would decrease to an estimated $0.75 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2023 and continue to decrease until current outstanding bonds are paid off in 2037.
The two areas which drew the most scrutiny within our membership were funding for protected bike lanes and road “improvements” which would ultimately decrease the number of vehicular lanes for cars in essential road arterials in Salem. Our organization recognizes the need for Salem to address climate concerns and find ways to incentivize residents of Salem to find alternative transportation mediums to reduce Salem’s carbon footprint. The reality is that Salem is a transient employment hub for individuals throughout our region which requires efficient and safe roadways for vehicular transportation.
Ultimately, the Salem Chamber board of directors voted to support the 2022 Salem Community Improvement Bond, which will be on the November ballot for Salem voters. If the bond passes, the Salem Chamber will closely monitor which companies the City of Salem is utilizing for bonded projects to ensure the most amount of taxpayer dollars stay in Salem. We will continue to work with our local elected officials and city staff to advocate for Salem-based businesses on every project.