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Monday, July 30, 2012

Taxing district idea spreads to Clackistan

What do the Clackamas County sheriff and the Multnomah County library have in common? They're both tired of being beholden to the county commissioners for funding, and putting levies up for a public vote every few years. And they're both contemplating going to their respective county's voters and asking for a special taxing district. The Clacky version is aired out here. The latest on the Multco drama is here; Farquaad and the Sisters are still balking at putting the district on the ballot.

We like public safety and libraries much more than we like a lot of the other stuff counties and cities find money for -- real estate development scams and armies of p.r. flacks, for example. The idea of these districts looks better to us all the time. If the Sam Rands are against it, it must be a good idea.

Comments (5)

If only it would mean a commensurate reduction in the general government taxing authority. Sadly though, it just means more money for the City and the County to spend on harebrained schemes and more taxes for the individual property owner to pay.

Theoretically, the county can't take money from a separate levy; I wouldn't want to bet on that. And PDXL has a very good point.

The proposed Clackamas County Sheriff District will have revenue neutrality and voter support to get public safety out of the hands of the greasy politicians who cannot be trusted.

Previous episodes of county commissioner antics had chair Lynn Peterson saying the Sheriff should be appointed so he could be controlled. Yeah that's the way to do it. Like Sam Adams appoints the police chief.

The current Clackamas Board of County Commissiners have all of the same defects as Adams as they devalue Public Safety in the same ways. Never allowing it to genuinely ride atop the priority list the way the public prefers.

Instead they constantly hobble it with lousy decisions culminating in their plans to ransack the general fund to pay for light rail.

Taxing districts aren't a bad idea. If we have enough of them we can just eliminate city and county governments altogether. Just pay for the services we want.

Want a fire department? We'll have a fire district.

Want public health clinics? We'll have a public health department.

Don't want animal control? There won't be an animal control district.

The only drawback is that each district will have its own board and administrative costs (things like facilities costs, human resources costs) will go up unless the special districts agree to have a "general services agency" (which could even be a single state-wide agency).

Don't want to encourage an out-of-control county sheriff's department?
Don't vote for these taxing districts.

Wonder what's happening on the Jeffrey Grahn lawsuits.

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