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Levy on May ballot to fund Sheriff's Office upgrades posted on 04/01/2021

A levy to help fund the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) operations will be on the May ballot, with voters to decide on renewing a levy that would increase the rate by 12 cents to 36.8 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The levy was first passed in 2006 and then renewed by voters in 2011 and 2016 without any changes.

The levy follows a survey conducted by Patinkin Research Strategies earlier this year which showed that 63 percent of the 400 likely voters in the county who participated were in favor of the levy renewal at the new rate. The survey proposed a series of questions regarding the CCSO and different options of funding levels for a potential levy, including one option with no increase.

“Our polling indicated that the least favored option was a straight renewal of the levy,” Sheriff Angela Brandenburg wrote in an email to the Mountain Times. “I believe this is due to the fact our expenses will exceed revenue by the end of the levy, resulting in the reduction of approximately 12 law-enforcement positions.”

The current levy, which funds 84 jail beds in the county jail, 30 jail deputies, 18 patrol deputies and the Sheriff’s specialized drug enforcement team, expires on Dec. 31, 2021.

The renewed levy, Measure 3-566, would maintain those while also adding 16 patrol deputies, six jail deputies, two internal affairs investigators, implement and maintain a body-worn camera program and five detectives to investigate elder abuse/neglect, child abuse/neglect, human trafficking and felony crimes. The levy term would be from 2022-27 and would cost approximately $98.26 per year on a home with an assessed value of $267,000 (an increase of $32.05 per year from the expiring levy).

It is estimated the proposed rate would raise $22.20 million in 2022-23, $22.87 million in 2023-24, $23.56 million in 2024-25, $24.26 million in 2025-26 and $24.99 million in 2026-27.

Brandenburg noted that the operating budget for the CCSO has remained relatively the same since the last time the levy was renewed, but that expenses and demand for services have increased. The CCSO receives 64.28 percent of its funding from the county’s general fund, with 12.64 percent from the levy, 10.81 percent from contracts, 6.75 percent from Enhanced Law Enforcement District and the remainder from grants, charges for services, licenses and permits.

The survey also revealed that 74 percent of respondents were very satisfied with how the county spends tax dollars and 80 percent are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of service provided by the CCSO.

For more information, visit https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff.

By Garth Guibord/MT





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