Josephine County puts another law enforcement funding proposal on ballot

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore.– Josephine County commissioners are putting a new measure on the ballot that would establish a new law enforcement district.

Voters will have to decide whether they want to pay higher property taxes to keep deputies on the road.

Commissioner Dan DeYoung said, “we need to guarantee not only our own safety, but people that come to visit us, we need to guarantee their safety too.”

All three Josephine County Commissioners came out in support of creating a new law enforcement district this week.

The funding would come from an increase in property taxes of $0.99 per $1000 of assessed value.

But voters in Josephine County will have to approve it first

Sheriff Dave Daniel said, “now it’s time to take another step, a little bit more. $0.99, boy, it’s not that much.”

Daniel said the money will help stabilize the sheriff’s office.

County officials have proposed other solutions for funding law enforcement in recent years.

Just last year, voters rejected a proposed seasonal sales tax to help fund the sheriff’s office.

The county had hoped that plan would put some of the cost on tourists, not just locals.

Sheriff Daniel said, “in 2025, June 20th to be exact, barring some other miracle. We’re in trouble. We’re in trouble. You’re not going to see this uniform. That’s the bottom line and I’m not trying to scare you.”

The proposed tax district would not impact Grants Pass residents.

The county received $5.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the federal government.

It will use that to fund the sheriff’s office for the next two years.

At that point, the sheriff’s office said it will have to cut positions if more funding isn’t secured.

Commissioner Herman Baertschiger said, “I’ll go on the record, I support this and I’m not a big supporter of taxes, but this tax will remain in josephine county for the protection of its citizens. So I believe it’s a very important tax.”

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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