Print this ArticlePrint this Article Email this ArticleEmail this Article
Text Size: A | A | A

Jackson County Commissioners nix surcharge

 Posted: 12:25 PM July 10, 2013

Jackson County Commissioners struck down a surcharge proposed to fill a $6.8 million general fund shortfall because a recent poll showed significant public opposition to the idea.

Commissioners Doug Breidenthal and John Rachor voted against the surcharge but wanted to look for other ways to support the 15 county libraries threatened by a looming budget shortfall.

Commissioner Don Skundrick, who proposed the surcharge in May to avoid cutting general fund support for sheriff's patrols, veterans' services, health and human services, the Oregon State University Extension Service and county libraries, voted against rejecting the surcharge.

"I don't want to live in a county without libraries," Skundrick said.

The initial proposed cost of the surcharge was $7 per month, although the amount eventually could climb to as much as $10 per month.

In a phone survey of 500 likely voters, 57 percent said they opposed the surcharge, while 31 percent were in favor and 11 percent undecided. The primary reason cited by those in opposition to the surcharge was the cost, with many saying they could not afford it, county officials said Tuesday.

The county's budget committee determined the libraries must find additional funding sources by the 2014-15 fiscal year, or all branches except Medford could close. The Medford library could close the following fiscal year.

Both Breidenthal and Rachor said they supported libraries but felt the will of the voters regarding the surcharge came through loud and clear.

— Damian Mann


Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.
COUPON OF THE WEEK