Curry County weighs sales tax to plug timber gap

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Cash-strapped Curry County is considering a sales tax to fill the $3 million gap left by expiration of a federal safety net for timber counties.

The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/yU4p9V) reported Thursday that a citizens advisory committee included a sales tax in a list of ideas to deal with the expiration of the Secure Rural Schools Act, which has been pumping federal money into timber counties since 2000.

County Commissioner George Rhodes says the board is considering putting the idea to voters on the May ballot.

Curry County has the state's second-lowest property tax rate, and Rhodes says he doubts voters would approve an increase.

Oregon voters have consistently turned down a state sales tax to raise revenue. While two cities tax restaurant sales, no counties have a sales tax.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com