The annual budget, prepared by its Finance and Regulatory Services, includes Metro’s major operating functions:
- Waste Prevention and Environmental Services
- Metro Exposition Recreation Commission
- Oregon Zoo
- Parks and Nature
- Planning, Development and Research
- Elected and administrative functions: Office of the Council, Office of the Auditor, Office of Metro Attorney, Finance and Regulatory Services, Information Technology and Records Management, Human Resources and Communications.
Where the money comes from
- Enterprise activities are Metro’s largest revenue source. They include fees from solid waste disposal at Metro’s two transfer stations and revenues at four visitor venues: Oregon Convention Center, Oregon Zoo, Portland'5 Centers for the Arts and Portland Expo Center.
- Property taxes are Metro’s second largest source of revenue. Much of this revenue goes to dedicated projects approved by voters, such as improvements to the Oregon Zoo and acquisition of natural areas.
- Beginning fund balances: monies carried forward from previous fiscal years from sources such as voter-approved bonds, reserves for specific purposes and monies allocated for cash flow needs such as debt service.
- Discretionary general revenues include a permanent property tax base, excise tax paid by users of Metro facilities and general, non-dedicated interest earnings. These revenues support general government activities such as the Council office, elections costs, public information and advocacy and core services such as land use planning and operations of the zoo and parks.
- Other revenue sources include local, state and federal grants, contributions and restricted donations, local government shared revenues and restricted interest earnings.
What the money is used for
Major expenditures vary by fiscal year and include the following:
- Operational expenses at the Oregon Convention Center, the Portland Expo Center, Portland’5 Centers for the Arts, the Oregon Zoo, solid waste disposal facilities and the parks and natural areas.
- Capital expenditures for land acquisition and projects related to the Natural Areas program, solid waste facility capital projects, and for capital improvements at the Oregon Zoo, and MERC facilities.
- Debt service payments on the agency’s bonds.
In 2018, Metro received an Aa3 rating for its dedicated tax revenue bonds (Oregon Convention Center Hotel Project) from Moody’s Investor Services, one of the nation’s largest credit-rating agency. The agency pointed to Metro’s prudent fiscal leadership and financial practices that include multi-year forecasting and quarterly reporting to actively plan and monitor operating performance. This rating augments the Aaa/AAA general obligation bond ratings received from Moody’s Investor Services and Standard and Poor in 2012.