Klamath County Jail Levy Implementation (May 2011)

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A Klamath County Jail Levy Implementation measure was on the May 17, 2011 ballot in Klamath County.

This measure was defeated

  • YES 7,895 (49.15%)
  • NO 8,168 (50.85%)Defeatedd[1]

This measure sought to implement a levy in the amount of $.25 per $1,000 of assessed property value for a period of three years in order to help pay for operational and maintenance costs for the current jail which is only at half its operational capacity. The levy would have raised around $1.2 million a year for the jail.[2] The Herald and News had given its support in favor of this measure, noting that the tax increase was small where as the benefit to the county would be large. State spending has been decreasing consistently over the past years and the jail has suffered and as a result the county as well. Those in favor also noted that the funds would only be able to be used for the jail, so there was not the concern for misuse of funds. Also, since it will only be in place three years, any further taxing would have again needed voter approval.[3]

The group The Citizens for Public Safety had also shown their endorsement of approval of this measure, noting that this was the best option to keep the jail in operation and ensure continued public safety in the county.[4]

Some residents had stated confusion about the ballot language which included a note that taxes could increase up to three percent. The county had been trying to inform residents that the tax will likely not reach that amount but the wording was required by Oregon State Law. The tax rate would be different for everyone and most would have not seen such a large increase.[5]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Shall Klamath County impose $.25 per $1,000 assessed value for County jail operations for three years beginning 2011-2012? This measure may cause property taxes to increase more than three percent.[6][7]