New levy proposed to fund Josephine County Animal Shelter

MERLIN, Ore.– The Josephine County Board of Commissioners is putting a new levy on the May ballot to help fund the county’s animal shelter.

The current shelter building is about 60 years old and shelter staff said they need more funding to meet current demand.

The new levy would add a property tax of $0.47 per $1,000 of assessed value.

That’s just less than $100 a year for a home valued at $200,000.

Commissioners said it could raise up to $25 million dollars in total.

Officials estimate it would take around $8 to 10 million to upgrade and renovate the animal shelter building.

It would also replace an existing levy for the shelter passed in 2021.

The shelter wants to add space for an in-house veterinarian to help reduce costs.

Shelter Manager Laura Jansen said, “with the current funding at the shelter, we would have to stop some services if we’re not able to secure more funding. So right now, to continue operating as is, we would need more money to be able to do that.”

Jansen said if the levy passes, about two-thirds of the building project would be invested in new facilities.

She said the demand for animal shelter services have increased since the pandemic, making it difficult for them to keep up.

The new levy would last for five years if its passed.

The election is set to take place on May 21st.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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