Grants Pass, Ore.– The latest efforts to get a tax levy on the ballot for public safety in Josephine County is shot down before it even gets to the ballot. With Thursday’s rejection of County Commissioner Cheryl Walker’s “a la carte” tax levy proposal, it’s back to the drawing board.
“I don’t think it is going to be successful. I don’t know that I can support it right now,” says Josephine County Commissioner Simon Hare.
Commissioner Simon Hare was the last to weigh in on what Walker says was a carefully constructed plan.
“I will not say I was surprised,” says Walker. “Both Commissioner Heck and Hare have not been too favorable over the last few years when it comes to levies.”
Heck rejected the proposal at the last meeting. Walker says Heck wants to see a proposal from the public and not from the board, something echoed Thursday by Hare.
“I am never opposed to citizen groups referring things to the voters,” says Hare.
Still Walker doesn’t regret laying out the plan, even though voters have rejected four levies in four years.
“We were elected to this position to keep providing options and opportunities to the people,” explains Walker.
Her proposal sought to give the public several options an “a la carte” menu, allowing voters to individually support the jail, the juvenile detention center, the district attorney’s office and law enforcement patrols.
“There wont be an opportunity for the voters of Josephine County to decide whether they want any one or all of those services that were going to be on the ballot,” says Walker.
Now voters will see an advisory question on the May ballot on House Bill 3053. It will give voters the chance to request state help for funding.
“People can say yes we want the state to come in or no we don’t want the state to come in,” says Walker.