Josephine County considering different tax methods

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Josephine County is looking to support law enforcement through some tough budget cuts.

One option being considered would be to tax property owners who don’t live in the county full time.

As NBC5 News reported earlier this month, the county is cutting the budget to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s portion of the law enforcement budget totals a little more than $7 million. That doesn’t include the jail’s $9 million dollar budget.

The county’s board of commissioners is now looking for ways to help law enforcement without impacting most county taxpayers.

One option is what the county is calling an “absentee property owner registration.” That would tax property owners that are not county residents and do not occupy their property for at least six months of the year.

Commissioner Dan DeYoung said, “It’s no deep dark secret but our sheriff’s office, for patrol, is grossly underfunded. So we are looking at all kinds of options as to what we can do here in Josephine County to try to raise revenue for patrol.”

Commissioner DeYoung said Curry County already has this tax in place and said it could raise nearly a million dollars a year in Josephine County.

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