Josephine County voters will decide on public safety levy in May

Grants Pass, Ore. — Voters across the region will weigh in on property tax levies in May.

In Josephine County, voters will decide whether to approve one for public safety.

The county traditionally turns them down, and that’s contributed to the lowest property tax rate in the state.

Five tries, five defeats.

Voters in Josephine County have turned down safety levies nearly every year since 2012.

At a town hall in March, people on both sides of the issue weighed in on the latest proposal.

Grants Pass resident Don Reedy said, “The funding is just dried up. And if we don’t pass this levy we’re gonna be cutting even more and likely have to close down the jail.”

“We have to adhere on a budget to make sure that we have enough to live on, and if the levy passes,” said Williams resident Chuck Thomas. ”It’s gonna make it hard for retirees.”

While there are concerns about budgets, a new report by the Oregonian reveals Josephine County has the lowest effective average tax rate in the state.

It’s $7 per thousand dollars of a home’s value.

The proposed levy would add 93 cents per thousand to that.

Sheriff Dave Daniel says this one is different–it includes dedicated funding and increased patrols.

But in the end, Sheriff Dave Daniel says it’s up to the voters.

“Let the people make the decision. We’re gonna do the best we can with whatever we have, and that’s for sure. The difficulty is how much is that.”


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