JoCo leader reacts to overwhelming ‘no’ vote on proposed tax

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. —It’s back to the drawing board, after the majority of Josephine County voters say no, to the retail sales tax. Commissioner Dan DeYoung says the idea they brought to voters went down in flames. Now he says it’s up to the people to bring a new idea to the table.

“I think it was loud and clear what the voters what came back last night that it was absolutely don’t ever do this again,” said DeYoung.

An overwhelming number of Josephine County voters saying ‘no ‘ to the commissioner’s proposed 3% tax. It was an attempt to find a permanent funding solution for the sheriff’s office. Commissioner Dan DeYoung says the county needs to find another option because it’s running out of time.

“I don’t know where the budget is going to go come June 30th because on June 30th of 2023 that sheriff’s office will be basically out of money for patrol,” said DeYoung.

DeYoung says other possible options could be the creation of a taxing district or levy. But Sheriff Daniel has told us in the past, that too comes with risk.

“There’s a whole lot of ebb and flow in that and there are dangers in not having sustainable suitable funding for a law enforcement agency because number one no vote on a levy you lose a lot of people and in this day and age that’s dangerous,” said Sheriff Dan Deyoung back in March.

Sheriff Daniel declined an on-camera interview Wednesday but confirmed he now has 18 positions for deputies, while ideally, he would like to be at 41 for 24/7 patrol. It’s yet to be determined what the full impact will look like in 2023, but he’s not calling it quits just yet. He says the public made its choice and his team will continue to do its job and provide public safety to the community, as best it can.

Commissioner DeYoung says they are reaching out to the people who voted no because the county welcomes their ideas. He says there is a possibility they try to get something on the May ballot.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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