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Your Voice, Your Vote: Voters to decide fate of courthouse bond, 4J levy

Election Day is tomorrow and voters in Lane County will be deciding the fate of funding for a new courthouse and renewal of a Eugene School District 4J levy.

Posted: May 20, 2019 7:20 PM
Updated: May 21, 2019 5:29 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- Election Day is tomorrow and voters in Lane County will be deciding the fate of funding for a new courthouse and renewal of a Eugene School District 4J levy.

Voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to turn in their ballots at an official drop site. For a map of Lane County locations, click here.

4J LOCAL OPTION LEVY

If the 4J school district bond is approved, the 4J local option levy would be renewed for five years.

If approved, it would continue to provide an estimated $17 million per year to fund school operations.

RELATED: 4J SCHOOL BOARD HOLDS FORUM ON LOCAL OPTION LEVY RENEWAL

School officials said if approved, property owners would continue to pay about the same amount as they currently do. The maximum rate for the local option levy is $1.50 per $1,000 assessed value.

“We have to look to make cuts ... actually our budget committee is meeting this evening to talk about the proposed budget moving forward,” said Vice Chair Anne Marie Levis. “If we had to cut 10 percent out of our budget, it would be a significant cut to us."

Levis said because the measure hasn’t been voted on yet, there’s no word on where those cuts could be made.

LANE COUNTY COURTHOUSE BOND

Voters will decide whether to help fund a $252 million county courthouse in Lane County.

The new courthouse would be partially funded by about $90 million from the state. It’s up to voters if they want to pay for the remaining $158 million.

MORE: PAC FORMED TO HELP PASS LANE COUNTY COURTHOUSE BOND

KEZI 9 News spoke with proponents and opponents of the measure.

Proponents said they see the need for a new courthouse while opponents said it’s too expensive and they wish the money would be used to help the homeless community.

Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich said the money coming from the state can’t be used for anything but the new courthouse.

“This isn’t instead of doing homeless work, it's in addition to that. The court is actually helping with the homeless problem," Bozievich said.

Bozievich said the new courthouse will help the homeless population because of new drug courts, mental health courts and veterans courts.

County officials said it’ll cost 29 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value on a home. For a $187,000 home, the median price in Lane County, that would add up to about $55 a year in added taxes.

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