EUGENE, Ore. — Lane County Commissioners inched closer to putting a public safety tax levy on the May ballot.
Commissioners once again listened to comments Tuesday night from the public on why they would or would not vote for more taxes.
Last week commissioners asked staff to come up with ballot language for the levy.
That ballot initiative is asking voters for a $0.55 per $1,000 assessed valuation. If approved the ballot reads this would add 120 jail beds to the already 135 beds in circulation, bringing the bed count up to 255. It would also add 16 beds for youth services.
At Tuesday’s meeting, some people spoke out against the levy, and there was also some emotional testimony given by those who’d been helped by the youth services explaining what it would mean if they were cut.
“I believe that youth should have more beds open in the Serbu and through treatment facilities instead of having them cut down because it has helped a lot of my friends and myself,” said Springfield resident Alexis Donaldson.
“I see the programs that have helped me facilitate dreams and I had never fathomed. To fund Serbu is to help these youth see you can make a difference,” said Lane County resident Denise Ramirez.
“I am not against funding for public safety. I am against is the methodology for the funding,” said Eugene resident Nishan Vanatta.
Commissioners want to see revised ballot language reflecting specifics for voters by next week, and then we are likely to see a vote on whether commissioners want to put this on the ballot.