Commissioner’s Advance Law Enforcement Taxing District on 2 to 1 Vote
The Josephine County Commissioners passed order number 2013-004 advancing the formation of a county service district for law enforcement services on a two to one vote with Commissioner Simon Hare casting the dissenting vote.
Following 2 hours and forty-five minutes of testimony, followed by about 45 minutes of discussion among the commissioners, Commissioner Walker moved to adopt the order with a maximum rate of $1.85 per thousand dollars of assessed property value.
Commissioner Keith Heck provided the second repeating the phrase the need is now. Commissioner Heck advocated a minimum/maximum tax rate pointing to the future when a lessor amount of tax would not support the needed level of services, but the county legal counsel pointed out the commissioners could designate one tax rate and could not go over that without going back to the voters but do not have to collect the full amount.
Commissioner Hare agreed with the need but felt the taxing district could not pass and there was a better opportunity for a five year levy that would allow the Board to generate specific numbers for each department.
Commissioners Walker and Heck felt the need to go forward with the taxing district to put in place stable funding for the future.
Commissioner Hare asked council if it was possible to go forward with the taxing district and a levy on the same ballot and was told yes.
The next step for the law enforcement taxing district, that still does not include rural patrols or the city of Cave Junction, will be a public hearing on Thursday, February 7th at 9:00 a.m. in the Anne Basker Auditorium.