The Josephine County Board of Commissioners have voted to form a permanent law enforcement tax district with a maximum rate of $1.85 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
The Friday vote was the first step toward putting the issue on the May 21 ballot. Oregon law requires that commissioners set a tax rate and hold two public hearings before taking a proposed tax district to voters. The first public hearing was Friday.
Commissioners Cherryl Walker and Keith Heck voted in favor of forming the district. Commission Chairman Simon Hare voted against the proposal, saying a short-term serial tax would be more agreeable to voters.
The proposed district would include all Josephine County residents, except those living in Cave Junction. That city opted out of participating in the district.
A second hearing is set for Feb. 7 at 9 a.m. in Anne Basker Auditorium, 604 N.W. Sixth St., Grants Pass.
The proposed district would fund specific criminal justice services that benefit all county residents, including the jail, Juvenile Justice Center, District Attorney's Office, court services and Animal Protection. It would not fund rural patrols, criminal investigations and related sheriff's office support services.
The first hearing lasted for 3ï»¿1/2 hours, with both supporters and opponents speaking.
— Stacy D. Stumbo, Grants Pass Daily Courier