11/28/2014

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Politics

Jail tax levy vote put off to next week

Jail tax levy vote put off to next week
In this Dec. 14, 2012 photo, this maximum security section of the Lane County Jail in Eugene, Ore., was shut down due to budget cuts. Timber counties in Western Oregon have been struggling with cuts to law enforcement since federal timber subsidies ran out and voters have refused to make up the gap with new taxes. The situation could get worse if the nation goes over the so-called fiscal cliff, which is set to trigger 8 percent cuts in $2 billion worth of federal law enforcement grants nationwide. (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard)
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EUGENE, Ore. - County commissioners put off until next week. a decison whether to put a tax levy to help fund the Lane County Jail before voters on the May ballot

The Lane County Board of Commissioners held what legally could have been the final public hearing on the matter Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Hall at the Lane County Courthouse. The board could have voted to put the 5-year levy to voters.

Instead, the measure will come back next week after minor changes to the language.

The proposal calls for 55 cents per $1,000 assessed value. That works out to about $83 per year for the owner of a home assessed at $151,000.

Most of the money would go towards re-opening 120 jail beds. The county currently releases most people accused of crimes before they face trial of post bail.

Ten percent of the levy would go towards juvenile detention.

The tax measure might have company on the May ballot: the City of Eugene is weighing a similar tax levy to support city services, like the library, economic development and other services.

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