GRANTS PASS, Ore.– Josephine County voters are once again faced with the decision to pay property taxes in order to fund the jail and youth detention services. Measure 17-59 will tax residents $1.19 per $1,000 in assessed property value for five years.
Josephine County has been struggling to fund public safety since the government reduced revenue from federal timber lands. A couple years ago, the jail had about 98 full-time employees. Now Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says he is looking at how to disperse 38 employees if the levy fails. The lack of funding is also impacting how many inmates the jail can hold, which means many criminals are let out only to strike again.
Some residents say they don’t have enough money to give to the measure, and they should not be taxed out of their homes. They said public safety is something that should be funded through the county and not taxpayers.
Here are the results:
YES: 48% with 13,159 votes
NO: 52% with 14,540 votes