Additional Articles by Staff Writer
Keep Government Accountable, Vote No On All 3 Property Tax Measures
The Josephine County Republican Party Precinct Committee Person’s (PCP) voted against all three taxing levies unanimously. The current ballot levies lack transparency and accountability that is demanded by Josephine County tax payers. While the PCPs support the Sheriff Department and Public Safety, but the .93 cent per $1,000 dollar assessed value did not offer any financial breakdown on how the funds would be spent.
Providing a financial breakdown accomplishes two things; 1) It shows the tax payer they have actually looked at the numbers and are truly requesting what is needed and 2) it provides for accountability if the funds are not spent the way it has been represented to the tax payer. An example of this is the last public safety tax levy. We were told the deputies were driving old, unsafe vehicles and the levy was desperately needed to replace the aging vehicles. It failed, yet 3 brand new SUV’s and Crew Cab Pick-up Truck have appeared with new branding and paint jobs.
Now the Sheriff is painting the old patrol vehicle he claimed were dangerous with the new paint scheme. The Sheriff is requesting another levy, yet is painting patrol vehicles. How does that work in the priority of efficiently using tax payer dollars. I guess it is more important to look good than provide patrol.
The reason that there in no accountability of how the tax money is spend is simple. The Commissioners spending record is always the same. Whenever they run into money, it always burns a hole in their political pocket. The first thing they do is give raises, higher benefits and cost of living increases to government cronies earning between $75,000.00 and $150,000.00 per year.
The cost of living increases, food, fuel, utilities, rent, yet those in our community that are living on fixed incomes don’t receive inflationary or cost of living adjustments to their income and have to make it stretch further than they did last year. It is unethical to ask them for more when they are just barely getting by.
We have watched the recent budget hearings where the Josephine County Commissioners prioritize funding. Was Sheriff Department & Public Safety the first item funded? No it was the last. Josephine County charges the Sheriff Department $617,000.00 in maintenance, a 30% increase, yet the Sheriff Department does not have 30% more buildings. The $617,000.00 is in addition to utilities paid by the Sheriff Department. Once again the Josephine Board of County Commissioners Lilly Morgan, Dan DeYoung and Simon Hare have budgeted punitively, not addressing the wishes of the citizens.
Governments only purpose is the protection of the citizens, yet they fund fee collecting departments before the Sheriff. Once again our newly elected County Commissioners Lilly Morgan and Dan DeYoung have failed those they represent.
The 3 Proposed Property Tax Measures
1- Property Tax Measure For Animal Control, Measure: 17:77
The Josephine County dog catcher wants more of your money, so the commissioners decided to put it on the ballot again. Last election we gave them .08 cents to improve the Animal Shelter, and they did. Now they want another .08 cents, for what? It would be reasonable to ask for .04 – 05 cents to maintain the improvements they made to the Animal Shelter, but they continue to grow unnecessary government.
2- Property Tax Measure For The Library, Measure: 17:79
The library should be staffed with volunteers and the money to fund the library should come from user fees not peoples property. In today’s world of the internet the library’s are seldom used because everything one needs to know can be Googled and found on the internet. Library’s throughout the country are used less and less.
3- Property Tax Measure for the Sheriff, Measure: 17:80
It is true, the Sheriff could use more money to hire more deputies. It is also true the sheriff can’t guarantee your safety no matter how many deputy’s he has or how much money you give him. Public is told by the commissioners that crime is rampant in the county and that if the levy’s fails we are all going to be doomed.
A Recent Study Reported by KAJO [Read the study]
“National Council Ranks Grants Pass as One of the Safest Cities in State of Oregon Grants Pass is among six cities in Southern Oregon that are listed by a national council as the safest in the state.
The City of Grants Pass is joined by Ashland, Central Point, Eagle Point, Klamath Falls and Brookings in the list of Top 40 Safest Cities in Oregon.
The National Council for Home Safety and Security came up with the rankings by combining FBI criminal data, its own population data and internal research….”
The truth is, what the 2 new city councilors Morgan and DeYoung want to accomplish is to bring the county property taxes up to the city level. Which means your county property taxes would double.
First: If the 3 county property tax levy’s pass, approximately 33% on the revenue raised would go to fund the government worker’s retirement pension aka PERS.
Second: The first thing the commissioners would do is the same thing they always do, give cost of living increases (raises) to county bureaucrats.
Third: Hire more code enforcers in black uniform to come on your property looking for any code violations. Code violation tickets are a BIG revenue maker for the City of Grants Pass. Code enforcers earn approximately $100.000.00 plus per year and brings in lots of money from the people who can’t afford it.
Four: Lesson learned. The more of your money the government has, the less freedom you’ll have. In other words, by giving the unaccountable bureaucrats more of your hard earned money without accountability, you are in essence funding your own destruction.
Five: Lilly Morgan a lifelong Democrat recently switched and became a Republican. A former City Of Grants Pass Councillor, Lilly is also a parole officer on PERS. She was heavily supported by Liberal Pastor Jim Brumbach that also gave us liberal Commissioner Simon Hare.
Elect principled public servants that look out for the people instead of themselves and the cronies running the unaccountable government. Government IS a necessary evil that must be watched constantly.
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