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Letters To The Editor

Levy is worthy, but eye consolidation

I support the Polk County public safety levy.

We need to restore our sheriff and jail to expected levels. That said, I also want our government organizations from city through federal to join the 21st century and redo the tax structure so it is consistent and fair.

They also need to constantly prove efficiency in spending, e.g. how much would we save by having the city police departments merge with the sheriff’s department?

Jim O’Brien

Dallas

Do patrols impact insurance rates?

I am curious if our insurance rates in Polk County are higher because we don’t have deputies on patrol 24/7? What is the ratio of decreased insurance rates to increased deputies, or is there one? Are home, fire and burglary rates tied to insurance rates linked to state, county and city protection services? Can our insurance rates be reduced if our services are increased and which is the most cost effective/risk assessment ratio differential?

I am interested in the commissioners’ take on this issue as it affects every residents’ bottom line.

Steve Dunn

Independence

Keep marijuana out of city of Dallas

I have been a resident here for over 70 years. Generally, I prefer to be a part of the silent majority. But the recent newspaper articles on changing city ordinances to allow a medical marijuana business and possible dispensary to operate in Dallas has prompted me to write this letter.

Please, city of Dallas leaders, do not allow this type of business to operate in Dallas. Also, consider what has happened to the tax base in other localities that have allowed this to come into their areas.

Of course, I know that marijuana is going to be legal in the state of Oregon. Please don’t kid yourself; the ramifications of a business such as this in our community will create a much heavier burden on our already hard-working police department.

In the recent election cycle that approved the use of pot in Oregon, Polk County voted against it and Dallas votes were even more strongly opposed to legalization.

What can possibly be worth the risk to those among us who are vulnerable to abusing drugs and the harm to families it will cause? Out of respect for families already being challenged, do everything you can to limit access to drugs in manufacturing facilities or dispensaries in our city.

Robert Thiessen

Dallas

Can’t afford to pay more taxes locally

Living in Dallas for decades and being retired, it’s almost impossible to make ends meet with all the fees and taxes that this city and Polk County are getting. And now they want more money.

The burden to me is great. Taxes keep going up faster than my Social Security. Food, medicine or taxes — which one is more important to you?

Stop taking what little the fixed income population has and let us live without fear of losing what little we have.

Live within your budget. I’ve got to. Vote “no” on the law enforcement levy.

Arthur Leppin Jr.

Dallas

Senator’s bill is simply appalling

I know that there is always a lot of useless stuff that happens at the beginning of the legislative session, but I was appalled by the proposal by Sen. Brian Boquist to prohibit Oregon courts from applying Shariah law, the religious law of Islam.

This seems like classic fear mongering and probably racism, as well. Or maybe it’s just ignorance.

I am sure it is high on the list of needs for our state and his constituents. I am embarrassed that he supposedly represents me in the senate. Not in my name.

Dale Derouin

Dallas

Marijuana won’t be good for Dallas

If a Dallas City Councilor thinks there is money to be made off the taxation of marijuana, they need to hear from you before they cast their vote.

As a prior resident of Josephine County and a recently retired law enforcement officer with 30 years experience, I watched the face of Josephine County change drastically.

Josephine County has the largest per capita of medicinal marijuana growers in the state. During the marijuana harvest, hundreds of laborers move into the community to harvest the crop. Most of these laborers all have Oregon Trail Cards at the expense of the Oregon taxpayer.

The tax base in Josephine County has eroded to the point that there are only two deputies for the entire county. Even their public library is closed. No one wants to pay taxes, including for law enforcement. They just want to profit from growing marijuana.

It is very common to see citizens walking around carrying firearms because it is the only protection they have. The crime rate rises so drastically during the harvest season, the Oregon State Police saturates the area with troopers from out of the area.

I’ve watched Oregon’s medical marijuana growers use Oregon’s marijuana laws to grow marijuana only to profit for themselves. Why will Measure 91 be any different? A pound of marijuana currently sells in Oregon for $1,500 to $2,500. A pound of marijuana sells in a state such as Utah that does not allow the growing of medicinal marijuana for $5,000. How much marijuana will these growers under Measure 91 turn in to be taxed and how much will go out the backdoor?

Please educate our Dallas City Councilors by contacting the Ron Foggin, city manager, at 503-831-3502 or at rwfoggin@dallasor.gov.

Walt Markee

Dallas

High taxes make selling home tough

Home and business owners in Polk County will be in for a big shock in the next few months if we don’t stop all this madness when it comes to taxes and fees.

If the public safety levy passes, this could make Polk County the second highest overall taxed county in the state. I want to sell my home one day and not chase out buyers due to over-taxation. Remember, our taxes already pay Dallas, Independence, Monmouth and West Salem for police protection.

Let’s send a message: Stay within your budget. Vote “no” on the levy.

Brandie Mangum

Dallas

County’s tax base was misrepresented

In the letter by Ken Mayer of Feb. 4, he infers that Polk County will have the second highest tax rate in the state when the levy passes. This is incorrect.

Currently, the two highest base rates are for Sherman County, $8.71, and Wheeler County, $8.52. We won’t be anywhere near that. Polk County’s base is $1.71 plus 54 cents (road bond) plus 45 cents (new levy) for $2.70. This leaves 17 counties ahead of Polk with a base rate higher than $2.70 (rates per $1,000 of assessed value; tax rate information gathered from an Oregonian article dated March 4, 2012, at http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2012/03/oregon_timber_counties_scrambl.html).

Steve Milligan

Monmouth

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