Trying to find any way to fill the budget gap --
The Mayor of Grants Pass, speaking as a private citizen in a city council meeting,
presented a new reduced tax levy.
This after huge cuts to Josephine County's public safety resulted in numerous job losses and inmate releases -- which the mayor says are beginning to take a toll on his city and the whole area.
Searching for any kind of solution.
"There is a growing awareness that we are at some risk and we need to do something about it," say'sGrants Pass Mayor Mike Murphy is asking the county commissioners to add a reduced tax levy measure to the September ballot.
"There's simply not enough money to fund justice department all the different departments."
Last month voters rejected a four year property tax increase of $1.99 on every $1,000 of assessed home value. Since that time, dozens of prisoners have been released, the juvenile justice center has closed as well as animal control services.
"There is no magic solution here," continues Murphy, "public safety services on the scale we're talking about cost money, somehow we've got to find a way to pay for them as a community."
Mayor Murphy is suggesting a levy at a rate of $1.15 per $1,000 that lasts for two years. The difference, he says is fairly substantial. A $150,000 dollar home would see their taxes increase $172.50, versus $298.50 if the previous levy had passed.
"It includes the full county, but doesn't include rural patrol. It would restore D.A., juvenile, and animal control," states Murphy.
A restoration he says is necessary - sooner, rather than later. "It is a stopgap measure, not a perfect solution, it is meant to plug the hole and stop the bleeding until we can find a better solution."
A temporary tourniquet for a county hemorrhaging money.
The deadline for filing a September ballot measure is July 19th. According to Murphy, if some sort of budget measure is not placed on this year's ballot and passed - the county will continue it's current operating situation until at least November 2013...which he said would be disastrous.