May Special Election Measures

May Special Election Measures in Southern Oregon (MGN Image)

This article serves as a summary of every measure up for a vote on Tuesday's Special Election - May 21st - across southern Oregon's five counties. Additional coverage on each topic is linked within the measure's summary.

The results of this special election, as they develop, can be found here: Special Election Results.

Jackson County

Measure 15-184: Evans Valley Rural Fire Protection District #6

This measure proposes a five-year tax levy for emergency and life safety operations.

Evans Valley Fire District No. 6 is seeking a local option tax levy of $.97 per $1,000 of assessed value for five years. This levy would start on July 1, 2019. If adopted, the District will use the tax revenue from this measure to increase the level of service, improve current operations, and enhance its first response capabilities. Currently, the District operates with only two paid professional staff, while relying heavily on dedicated volunteers and its Student Staffing Program to staff the District’s fire and life safety operations. If adopted, the levy would allow the District to add paid firefighter/EMT staffing. Additional paid staffing would permit the District to expand its services, increase training, and reduce its response time for fire and medical emergencies calls. The first year of this five-year levy would begin in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Measure 15-185: Central Point School District #6

This measure proposes bonds to improve safety; repair, construct facilities; address overcrowding.

If approved, this measure would finance capital costs for Jackson County School District No. 6 (Central Point), including projects that:

  • Improve safety and security at schools
  • Replace or improve mechanical systems for efficiency, health and safety
  • Address overcrowding, create flexibility and improve learning spaces
  • Repurpose property to provide learning spaces

A citizen oversight committee, including regular independent audits of bond expenditures, would be required. The bonds may be issued in multiple series; each maturing within 30 years from issuance; and may pay bond interest. District’s currently outstanding bonds will expire before the District levies for this measure. Therefore, the District estimates that this measure will not increase the current tax rate for the District’s general obligation bonds. The actual levy rate for this measure may differ due to interest rates and changes in assessed value.

Josephine County

Measure 17-89: Rural Fire Protection District

The question on the ballot reads, "In your opinion, should Josephine County begin the process to form a Rural Fire Protection District in currently unprotected areas?"

The outcome of this advisory question will not be binding. It will provide information to the County Commissioners while the Board formulates policy. The Commissioners are considering whether to begin the process of forming a rural fire protection district in unprotected areas of the County. The formation process requires the Board to hold public hearings, establish boundaries, and provide for an election on whether to form the district. The purpose of the district would be to provide an adequate level of fire protection service throughout rural areas of the county that are currently not within a rural fire protection district. The district would not include the cities of Grants Pass and Cave Junction. The District would be governed by an independent board that would determine an appropriate level of fire protection, prevention and suppression services, and any services legally available under chapter 478 of the Oregon Revised Statutes. Electors within the proposed district boundary would vote on the formation of the district with taxes to fund it, and would vote for the first district board.

Measure 17-90: County Lodging Tax

This measure asks voters if Josephine County should begin the process to collect a tax on overnight lodging?

The outcome of this advisory question will not be binding. It will provide information to the Commissioners while the Board formulates policy. Oregon law allows local governments to collect a tax on temporary lodging at a hotel, motel, campsite, vacation rental home, or lodging reserved through online reservation companies. The tax is known as a Transient Lodging tax. Josephine County presently does not collect taxes on lodging in the county. Before collecting a county lodging tax, the Board of Commissioners would hold public hearings on an Ordinance. The Board would also be required to get the approval of the voters. Under current Oregon law, the County would have to use at least 70 percent of the net revenue from the tax to fund tourism promotion or tourism-related facilities or to pay debt related to tourism facilities. The County could use the remaining 30 percent to fund general county services. The outcome of this non-binding question will not affect property taxes.

Measure 17-91: Grants Pass Fuel Tax

Should Grants Pass impose a 3-cent per gallon motor vehicle fuel tax, replacing the current Transportation Utility Fee?

The measure would impose a 3-cent-per-gallon motor vehicle fuel tax. Pursuant to the Oregon Constitution, any revenues derived from such tax shall be used exclusively for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of public highways, roads, streets and roadside rest areas, as well as the cost of administration of such tax and for the retirement of any bonds for which fuel tax revenues have been pledged. If approved, the motor vehicle fuel tax would replace the existing Transportation Utility Fee.

Measure 17-92: Proposed Amendments to the Grants Pass City Charter

This measure asks if the City Charter should be amended to provide Council/Mayor payment, change special meeting requirements, and other changes.

The City Council proposes changes be made to the City Charter. Proposed changes include: payment of the Mayor and Councilors in the amount of $1,000 per month, which may be increased according to the CPI-U index; permitting three Councilors to call a special meeting; removing the Mayor’s de facto veto power for City Manager appointment or termination; remove automatic office forfeiture provision for meeting attendance; clarification of language pertaining to vacancies and appointments; and other minor changes.

Klamath County

Measure 18-113: 911 Five Year Renewal

Measure summary: a five-year renewal on the current location option tax for dispatch services.

Shall Klamath County maintain dispatch service levels with continuation of 5-year levy of $0.08 per $1,000 assessed valuation beginning in the 2019-2020 fiscal year? This measure renews current location option taxes.

The Klamath 911 Emergency Communications District will continue to use the tax revenue from this measure to maintain funding for critical positions, addressing the needs of our citizens, and public safety partners, maintaining necessary equipment and preparing for advancing technologies. Without this revenue, the 911 District will not be able to maintain necessary staffing levels, equipment and planning for advancing technologies. The proposed rate will raise approximately:

$400,780 in 2019-2020

$425,204 in 2021-2022

$437,968 in 2022-2023

$462,205 in 2023-2024

for a total of $2,138,968.

Curry County

Measure 8-97: Transient Lodging Tax in the Unincorporated Areas of Curry County

Shall Curry County be authorized to collect a transient lodging tax throughout Curry County except in the cities?

This would be a tax on guests who stay in local hotels and other lodgings. By state law, 70% of the net county lodging tax collections are dedicated for tourism promotion and tourism-related facility. 30% may be used to fund other county services. This measure may raise an estimated $602,000 for tourism promotion and tourism-related facilities; and approximately $258,000 for other county services. The tax would be imposed only in the unincorporated areas of the county, and not in the cities. By state law, lodging operators may retain 5% of tax collections for their administrative costs. The Curry County Commissioners approved Curry County Ordinance No. 19-01 imposing a 7% tax on lodging guests at hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, condos, RV Parks, campgrounds, vacation rentals and other similar transient lodging facilities for stays less than 30 days. But this tax cannot be effective unless the voters approve. This is not a tax on homeless people. This is not a tax to raise money to lodge homeless people.

Measure 8-98: Advisory Question on Consumption Tax

In your opinion should Curry County tax goods and services purchased in the County? Exemptions would apply.

The outcome of the election on this advisory question will not be binding. It will provide information to the Board of County Commissioners while the Board formulates policy.

A 1.5% to 2% consumption tax on goods and services, and real estate in excess of $100,000 could generate between $2.5 million and %3.5 million. Approximately half of the receipts would come from visitors and out of county shoppers; the remaining half would come from county residents. Revenues would be designated to specific accounts so as to ensure tax dollars collected are not being directed to county personnel and their retirement accounts. This proposal would not affect the current property tax rate.

Measure 8-99: Advisory Question on Marijuana Production Tax

In your opinion, should Curry County be able to tax the production of recreation and medical marijuana?

The outcome of the election on this advisory question will not be binding. It will provide information to the Board of County Commissioners while the Board formulates policy.

State law currently prevents Counties from taxing marijuana production. In December 2017 the Association of Oregon Counties, which includes Curry County, formally recommended that state law be changed so that five Southwest Oregon Counties (Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, and Josephine) could tax marijuana production. Subsequently, Douglas County withdrew from the proposal, and Lane County joined the effort. Following legislative approval, voters of each county could then decide whether to impose such a tax. Property tax rates would not be impacted.

The state currently collects annual fees from marijuana producers. Under the counties' proposal, the state would also collect an annual amount for the county in which each grow site is located, and provide that additionally collected amount to the county. The revenue collected from marijuana producers would be dedicated to a law enforcement trust fund. This proposal would not affect the current property tax rate.

Lake County

Measure 19-34: School Bond

Shall the North Lake School District No. 14 issue up to $5,000,000 General Obligation Bonds for upgrades, renovations, classrooms, transportation maintenance facilities, receive $3-4,000,000 grant? If the bonds are approved, they will be payable from taxes on property or property ownership that are not subject to the limits of sections 11 and 11b, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution.

The North Lake School District No. 14 was awarded $3,000,000 in State grants which are available only if bonds are approved. The District is also first on the waiting list for an additional $1,000,000 State grants. If the full $4,000,000 in State funds are received by the District, only $4,000,000 in bonds will be issued.

If approved, this measure would finance capital costs within the District, including:

  • Construction and equipping of elementary school improvements including additional classrooms, special education room, multipurpose gym for physical education and community use, playground upgrades
  • Replacing annex with upgraded modular for alternative education, pre-school, community use including 4-H
  • Constructing indoor bus maintenance facility
  • Pay issuance costs

Bonds would mature in 20 years or less from the date of issuance and may be issued in one or more series. If approved, the tax rate on $5,000,000 bond is estimated to be $1.37 per $1,000.00 of assessed value, or on $4,000,000 bond is estimated to be $1.09 per $1,000.00 of assessed value. Actual rates may vary based upon interest rates incurred and changes in assessed value

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