Update: March 8, 2:30 pm The U.S. Senate just passed a temporary one-year extension of the timber payment program.
Oregon’s Curry County is among the state’s poorest counties and one of the hardest hit by the anticipated end of timber payments by the federal government. There is some good news: President Obama’s budget plan contains money to extend the payments and before they adjourned, the Oregon legislature passed a law to allow strapped counties to fund sheriff patrols with money ordinarily reserved for roads. Nevertheless, some counties are bracing for the worst. Counties like Curry say temporary fixes are not enough, and they may have to cede some of their essential services to the state. Commissioners there are thinking of putting a sales tax on the local ballot to help create a stable funding source.
Do you live in a county affected by timber payments? If you live in Curry County, do you think a local sales tax is a good idea? Why or why not?
- Ron Wyden: U.S. Sentator from Oregon
- George Rhodes: Curry County commissioner