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Oregon Timber Counties Facing Tough Cuts

Several county governments in Oregon timber country are in for tough financial times, whether or not Congress renews federal timber subsidies.

But only one of them, Josephine, is offering voters a chance to raise taxes to pay for criminal justice and other services.

In Lane County, District Attorney Alex Gardner says, the new budget cuts 200 jobs because voters have said no to higher taxes 14 straight times.

Curry County thinks it can get through the year by tapping cash reserves, but it is mulling over a 3 percent sales tax to put before voters.

Josephine County has put a four-year sheriff’s levy on the May 15 ballot that would quadruple the county base tax rate to maintain sheriff’s patrols, jail guards, prosecutors and probation officers.

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