County to distribute excess funds from Damascus disincorporation
Damascus property owners will receive a portion of more than $3.5 million in excess funds earmarked for distribution after the vote for the former city's disincorporation.
The money given back to property taxpayers totals $3.7 million — the original $2.5 million, $94,090 in interest earnings, $62,657 in miscellaneous credit and $1.05 million excess from pay obligations. Distribution will begin on or around July 23.
"The county has been a responsible steward of the money, and we are proud to return even more to property owners than anticipated," said Clackamas Board Chairman Jim Bernard.
Those eligible must have owned taxable property as of June 30, 2016, for which property taxes were paid in full to the city of Damascus for the tax year beginning on July 1, 2015. Estimates by Clackamas County officials have about 4,353 properties splitting the funds, weighted by the value of the homes. The average check back to property owners will be about $850.
Residents of the former city of Damascus voted to disincorporate on May 17, 2016, with the formal process occurring two months later. The total funds transferred to Clackamas County equaled $8.3 million. That was whittled down through financial obligations, allowing the remainder to go back to the taxpayers.
Over $2.8 million of the remaining fund balance for the road and street funds at time of the disincorporation was designated for exclusive use on roads within the former city. Another $3 million was placed in a special county account to pay for transitioning Damascus employees to the county payroll, and to continue law enforcement and other services that were integrated into the county's structure.