State Evaluates County Finances

By Lauren Mickler

EUGENE, Ore. — Lane, Coos and Douglas counties are three of the eight most financially-stressed counties in the state, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office.

This 70-page report is the product of the state’s first ever county-by-county financial condition review.

The evaluation looked at all 36 counties based on 10 financial, economic and demographic indicators. And the results are all too familiar–Lane, Coos and Douglas counties aren’t doing so well.

The state plans to monitor those three counties, along with five others.

Secretary Brown noted federal timber payments had the most significant impact on the assessment, which most of those eight counties heavily relied on.

But she says while the situation seems bleak, she feels the counties are still doing a good job holding on.

“One of the takeaways for me in reviewing the report is that our county governments are actually doing a fairly good job. These are really tough financial times. Economically it’s been very unpredictable,” Brown said.

The report did not suggest any specific solutions for counties in trouble.

Brown says each county will find its own individual way of solving its financial problems.

However, the report listed a number of cities and states that have recovered from similar financial crises as a menu of options for counties to work off of.

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