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Group Fights Against Public Safety Levy

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A group in Josephine County is pushing to stop voters from voting for a criminal justice tax levy.

Measure 17-49 proposes to implement a $1.48 per $1,000 assessed value for three years. This is the second time Josephine County is voting on a measure like it. Last May, voters turned down a similar tax levy.

Over 200 signs are scattered across Josephine County. The group putting up these signs say the upcoming criminal justice tax measure isn’t the answer.

“We can’t really afford a tax increase. And this is not the time to increase taxes this is a time to lower taxes.  Individuals may not be able to afford the increase. Right now they’re on the edge. So what happens to their property? It maybe goes into a tax foreclosure. What happens to it then?” said organizer Jim Rafferty.

The group, “We’re For Our Constitution Government”, says they have other ideas.

“One of the solutions at a town hall meeting was to file a lawsuit against the federal government so we can get our money and give us our land back,” said Kurt Ramme.

Rafferty suggests donations.

“If you’re paying your tax bill and you want to add another 20 percent to your bill, they’ll accept it. So, it’s not like being forced down our throats” he explained.

The group says ultimately, it should fall on county officials to find solutions besides raising taxes.

“Josephine county as I recall the numbers, there’s over 46 percent of people over 55.  You’re looking at two of us right now it’s just a situation where it’s not feasible,” said Rafferty.

If you’d like to hear both sides of this tax measure there will be a town hall meeting April 30th, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Grange on 1440 Parkdale Drive in Grants Pass.