A glimpse Into Reality
In 2012, Josephine County voters decided not to fund our justice department. As a result, the jail all but closed down, District Attorneys stopped prosecuting many cases, nearly all sheriff’s deputies were laid off, and crime started to spike.
This should be old news to everyone living in this county, and yet some people still ask, “Do we really have a problem?”
Or, if they haven’t yet been personally affected by the increase in crime, they may ask, “Is it worth the extra tax money to help pay for criminal justice?”
To both questions, the answer is a resounding YES!
The following graph highlights in stark clarity the growing magnitude of the issue.
A few items on the lower graph bear highlighting.
- Look at the timing of the sharp increase in all major types of crime. Immediately after the de-funding of the criminal justice system in this county, criminals began to take advantage of the situation.
- Every kind of crime, from burglary to auto theft, is on the rise, and all indications point to an ever-increasing rate unless the citizens of the county decide to act.
For those who say they don’t want to see any increase in taxes, they should ask themselves, “How much will it cost me in increased expenses to continue refusing to fund basic criminal justice?”
Not only are chances high that an individual will become the victim of a crime likely to cost them many times what their taxes might have been, but an ongoing crime wave will have additional economic impact in the area. At a minimum, employers will begin to leave the area and insurance rates will go up.
And about that tax rate: If you have a home valued at $150,000, the expected tax rate to fund the criminal justice department in this county, based on the last levy of $1.48 that was voted down, would have cost you only $222 per YEAR. That’s $18.50 per month. And if some of the other SOS initiatives pay off, that amount will likely drop even lower.
Is it really worth surrendering our beautiful community to criminals over $18 per month?
That’s what the voters need to decide.