In so far as the U.S. Congress can’t seem to agree on anything, perhaps including the time of day, it’s thrown a bucket of ice water on five southwest Oregon counties’ hope for a bail out to compensate for crashing revenues from federal timber lands. Oregon’s congressional delegation has been trying to direct at least some federal revenues at Lane, Douglas Coos, Curry and Josephine counties, but to no avail. The situation in Curry County is so dire that starting July 1st, there will only be two deputies for the whole county and only three jail beds for prisoners – the jail beds contracted out to Coos County, a long way up the road.
There is a special question on May’s ballot in Curry County, whether to raise local property taxes to support the Sheriff’s Office. The last attempt at such a levy went down rather soundly. The state may have to step in and help with other county functions like tax assessments, elections and other administrative services But other counties are in bad shape as well.
While things have gone from bad to worse, Curry and other county taxpayers have stubbornly resisted paying anything close to a tax rate found in most other Oregon Counties. They say government has gotten too big and that the citizens are short of cash as well.
The Oregonian picks up the story from here. Click here.