Questions about the Oregon-Idaho border, taxes, tobacco and guns on Oregon ballots

Voters in three more Oregon counties will vote next week on whether they want to become Idaho residents without leaving their homes.

Questions about the ‘Greater Idaho’ movement are on the ballots in Douglas, Josephine and Klamath counties, after approval in eight rural counties, mostly in the southeastern part of the state, to push to redraw the border between Idaho and Oregon.

The measures are among dozens of proposals on Oregon’s ballots this year.

Even if the measures are passed in all three counties, residents won’t become Idahoans anytime soon. Changing state borders requires the approval of state legislatures and Congress. But Mike McCarter, president of Citizens for Greater Idaho, said each county vote sends lawmakers a message about rural discontent.

“Every county that passes sends a bigger message to the Oregon Legislature that you have a problem in rural Oregon counties, and they want something done about it,” McCarter said. “And if something can’t be done about it, then let them go. Let them be part of the state of Idaho.

Voters in Baker, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur Sherman and Union counties have already endorsed the idea, passing variations of the ballot measures that require county commissioners to regularly discuss changing state borders . The proposed measure for Klamath County would get that county to join in those conversations, while the Douglas County proposal would allow county commissioners to pay lobbyists or authorize county staff to lobby law enforcement officials. state and federal to alter state boundaries.

The Josephine County ballot measure, returned by county commissioners, asks whether Josephine and other rural counties should break away from Oregon and become part of Idaho. Commissioners intend to use the results as a guide when developing policy.

The three moves to show support for changing state borders are among dozens of decisions on local ballots. Oregon voters are not just selecting candidates this spring, but directly deciding whether to enact or reject laws and taxes.

New Ballot Policies Across Oregon

In Josephine County, voters will decide whether to repeal a 2021 ordinance that would allow the county director of planning to inspect property suspected of containing an illegal marijuana farm and impose civil fines as well. than referring the findings to criminal prosecution. The order never took effect because voters voted it back.

Proponents of the ballot measure repealing the 2021 law, including State Sen. Art Robinson, R-Cave Junction, argue that letting the ordinance take effect will give government officials free rein to violate property rights. Opponents of the measure argue that the ordinance gave Josephine County another tool to fight thriving cartel-funded marijuana farms.

Tualatin is considering a change to term limit laws that would allow Mayor Frank Bubenik to run for a second term. The city of 27,000 now limits city councilors or mayors to a maximum of 12 years in a 20-year period, and a proposed charter change to voters would allow someone who has served two terms as a city councilor to also serve two consecutive terms as mayor. . Bubenik was elected mayor in 2018 after serving two terms on the city council.

Sublimity, a town of about 3,100 east of Salem, is asking voters if it should continue to include fluoride in its drinking water, which it has done since 1955.

Shaniko, a Wasco County town of 35 that describes itself as a ghost town, is asking its few constituents to allow the elected municipal recorder to live outside the city limits. The recorder does not vote on town questions.

Tillamook County is considering an ordinance that would prevent county officials from following or enforcing most gun control laws. Last year, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum sued two more counties that passed the so-called Second Amendment shrine ordinances.

In Washington County, voters will decide whether to repeal a county ordinance banning flavored tobacco products, tobacco coupons and discounts, and sales through vending machines or kiosks.

Coos County is considering a 9.5% tax on stays at hotels, motels, campgrounds, vacation rentals and other short-term destinations in part of the county. Under state law, local governments can charge lodging taxes as long as at least 70% of the revenue is used to promote tourism. Coos County intends to use the rest of the money for public safety and cleaning up trash, including abandoned mobile homes.

Taxes for Oregon Schools and Public Safety

Counties across the state are seeking to renew existing local option taxes or pass bond measures, which taxpayers will pay over the next 20 years. Voters will decide whether they support replacing fire stations, building or repairing schools and swimming pools, and keeping fire and road districts functioning.

Some highlights:

  • Corvallis School District: $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value over the next five years, for a total of $46 million. Without renewal of the tax, the academy estimates that it would have to reduce its budget by 10%, or the equivalent of 90 teaching posts.
  • North Bend School District: $22.7 million in bonds, estimated to cost $0.88 per $1,000 over the next 20 years. The neighborhood would remove asbestos, replace windows, repair aging buildings and create space for the performing arts.
  • South Umpqua School District No. 19: $20.9 million in bonds, estimated to cost $1.15 per $1,000 over the next 30 years. He would build a new K-8 school in Canyonville and create security vestibules in two elementary schools.
  • Roseburg School District: $154 million in bonds to replace the old main building at Roseburg High School, improve playgrounds and sports fields, and add multi-purpose facilities to elementary schools. It would cost taxpayers about $1.85 per $1,000 for 20 years.
  • Morrow County School District: $138 million in bonds, costing about $2.67 per $1,000 for 20 years. It would create separate spaces for elementary, middle, and high schools in combined schools, build a new K-12 facility on the Heppner Junior/Senior High School campus, and improve security in each building.
  • Beaverton School District: $723 million in bonds, at a cost of $0.25 per $1,000 over 30 years. He would rebuild Beaverton High and Raleigh Hills Elementary, upgrade computers, replace old buses and roofs, and improve security.
  • Voters in Gearhart, a Clatsop County town of about 1,500 near the coast, will decide whether to pay about $1.21 per $1,000 of assessed value over the next 20 years for a new fire and police station. The city’s current building, a concrete block built in 1958, lacks separate toilets for men and women. A new $14.5 million building would have separate toilets, storage and sleeping areas and would be designed to survive a tsunami. It sparked strong opposition in the city, with anti-bond signs dotting Clatsop County highways.
  • Redmond is seeking about $40 million in bonds to build a new police station in the town of about 31,000 people north of Bend. Taxpayers would end up paying about $0.73 per $1,000 for the next 20 years.

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