EUGENE, Ore. — A recent survey found the majority of people in Lane County will support a public safety property tax levy.
Members of the community listened to results from that survey Tuesday night and then offered commissioners their own input on whether they would or would not support the tax.
Lane County residents packed Harris Hall, all with one thing on their minds.
“Ten years ago I kind of expected a police officer or somebody to show up and now today I don’t,” said a Lane County resident.
“I understand that we currently have no patrols at night from sheriff’s patrols in the unincorporated areas,” added another resident.
Last month a random survey of 500 people asked the public whether it would support a tax and what it held as its highest priorities. The top priority was enhanced protection and the second was jail capacity.
Most surveyed supported the 50-cent tax levy as opposed to the 75-cent one. That means a homeowner with a median home of $151,000 would pay on average of $75 a year. Once the public hearing was open, the comments seemed to echo one another–fund public safety.
“I will vote for a levy, but please work on something more than a bandaid,” said a Lane County resident.
“This county is doing the best they can with the resources they have, but it’s not enough,” said another resident.
“We urge you to make the decision to put a targeted jail beds measure on the ballot this spring,” said a member of the League of Woman Voters.
Still, some do have caution. “If the wording comes out right, I am surely going to vote for it, but if it sounds fishy to me, I am not. It’s very important how you word it so people know what they are voting,” said one Lane County resident.
That thought resonated throughout the survey. People said they would support the tax if the sheriff’s office would be held accountable as to where the money was going.
Still, there were some who say they will vote no. “Until you fix the corruption in the county, I cannot support a tax levy,” said another Lane County resident.
Commissioners clearly have a lot on their plate, and a deadline to decide if this goes on the ballot gets closer each day.
Commissioners will hold another public safety meeting Wednesday morning. It will start at 9:00 a.m. in Harris Hall.