Josephine County votes no on law enforcement levy



GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Voters in the heart of Oregon timber country were voting down a tax increase to make up for the loss of federal timber subsidies.

With 68 percent of the vote counted Tuesday night in Josephine County, no votes were 57 percent and yes votes 43 percent.

Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says the failure of the $12 million a year levy will force sheriff’s patrols and prosecutors to be cut to the bone by the end of the month. About 100 jail inmates will have to be released to get down to the new limit of 30.

Josephine County has the lowest property taxes in Oregon. It was the only county asking voters to increase taxes to make up the loss of the timber money.