Voters to Decide on Public Safety

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Several police and fire crews in Grants Pass could soon be laid off.

This November, voters will decide whether to fund a tax levy specifically for Grants Pass police and fire. This tax is what the city of Grants Pass already has in place, but it’s going to expire this coming June.

The 1.79 per thousand dollars of assessed property value was set in 2009. The city is now asking residents to renew that current rate for another four years.

There’s a group of citizens pushing against this levy, passing out fliers and printing ads. The group claims less than half of the money from the levy will go to public safety or that Grants Pass Police will still get over $15 million from the budget.

One city councilman says that’s misinformation, and that this tax levy is allocated just for police and fire. If this levy fails, the city will be facing about a $4 million shortfall.

“Another part of that misinformation that’s going out is that we won’t lose one fire personnel or police person, and that’s not true. We will have to lose several personnel,” said Grants Pass City Councilor Mark Gatlin.

Council is prepared to find funding elsewhere, which would be in form of a fee with residents’ water bill for example.