I just received my Voters' Pamphlet and I'm puzzled by Measure 15-164, which creates a countywide heritage district. Why does the measure specifically exclude the city of Shady Cove from the proposed district?

— Mary B., by email

Shady Cove is not included because Shady Cove city officials voted against inclusion in the Rogue Valley Heritage District. Local city councils were given the option to opt out of the vote, but Shady Cove was the only one to do so.

That means voters within the city limits of Shady Cove will not see the heritage district on their ballots, and residents would not be taxed for it should the measure pass. The Upper Rogue Historical Society notes that Shady Cove is the only city in Jackson County without a historical society.

The rest of Jackson County will vote on whether to approve formation of a heritage district, which would be funded by a property tax of 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. That amounts to $10 annually for the owner of a house assessed at $200,000.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners voted in July to initiate formation of the district. If approved, the district would be governed by a separate five-member board.

The measure would support the Southern Oregon Historical Society and other heritage organizations that maintain museums, research facilities and artifacts in the county.

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