County holds conference on ballot measures

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. — The Board of Josephine County Commissioners will host a press conference today, Oct. 12 to provide information on Ballot Measure 17-112 and address questions about the countywide law enforcement retail activities tax proposed to the voters of Josephine County on the Nov. 8 ballot.
The press conference will be held at the Anne Basker Auditorium, 600 NW 6th St. in Grants Pass, at 11 a.m. Oct. 12. Only recognized members of the press who RSVP for the press conference will be able to participate.
Those scheduled to appear include the Board of Josephine County Commissioners; Dave Daniel, Josephine County sheriff; representatives from the cities of Grants Pass and Cave Junction; and Wally Hicks, Josephine County legal counsel.
Ballot Measure 17-112 will ask voters “Shall Josephine County tax most retail activity at a rate of 3 percent between April 15 and Oct. 15?” The measure does not create an ad valorem tax on real or personal property, and the rate for the city of Grants Pass’ public safety levy would decrease.
The revenue from this tax would be used only for law enforcement purposes in Josephine County. Funds would be directed to the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, Juvenile Justice department and the District Attorney’s Office, as well as the Grants Pass Police Department and the city of Cave Junction for law enforcement purposes.
Oregon law allows local governments to tax most retail activity. This ordinance and tax would apply to most retail activity that occurs within all the incorporated and unincorporated territory of Josephine County. Vendors would collect the tax from consumers during retail transactions.
Distribution to cities would be based on population. The funds raised by this tax would be subject to annual, independent audits to ensure compliance with the requirements of this ordinance. Upon approval by a majority of voters, the ordinance would go into effect March 15, 2023.