Curry County votes on raising taxes

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A new Oregon law that gives state and local officials an emergency path to raising taxes if voters won't pay for a minimum level of public safety faces its first test in Curry County.

Both the governor and Curry County Commission Chairman David Brock Smith hope voters will approve a three-year $3.2 million levy to fund law enforcement on Tuesday.

If they do not, Smith says the county commission will be on the phone to the governor the next morning to talk about declaring a public safety emergency.

A declaration would allow county commissioners to impose a surcharge on other existing taxes to fill half the budget gap. The state would pick up the rest.

Without the levy, Sheriff John Bishop says law enforcement is only funded through next June.