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Curry County Rejects Public Safety Levy

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GOLD BEACH, Ore. — Election results are being finalized and counties disappointed by the failure of money measures are figuring out what to do next.

Curry County’s hopes for help from voters to maintain minimum public safety services were dashed on Election Night when voters turned down a 5-year levy by a 56 to 44 percent margin. That leaves it to the county commissioners and budget committee to decide what more can be cut to keep the county solvent while providing constitutionally required public safety and other services.

Board Chairman David Brock Smith says it may end up that the state will have to step in and levy an income tax to finance jail and other safety services.

“I’ll be working with the communities and other taxing districts and the cities to come up with a consolidation that is beneficial for consolidation of services, to benefit the citizens of the county that will work best for everyone,” explained Chairman Smith.

Smith says the county’s income of about $2 million from its 59 cent tax rate will only pay for the jail and dispatch operation, but little else. He says some county agencies, such as assessor and taxation also need funding and it’s difficult to say where that money will come from.