The Dalles
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HR County Commission To Decide Levy Rate At Next Meeting

Hood River County Commissioners did not formally reach a consensus on a property tax rate for a five-year public safety levy to be placed on the May ballot during a worksession on Monday, but discussions indicated three of the five commissioners leaning toward a rate of 83 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.  Chair Mike Oates along with Les Perkins and Karen Joplin expressed their lean toward 83 cents, which Sheriff Matt English outlined would allow them to increase their roster of patrol deputies to 14 and give the department a better chance of reaching 24-hour coverage.  Rich McBride and Bob Benton were still leaning to a 78-cent rate, with McBride expressing his concern that if the rate is too high for taxpayers, they will be facing cutting one-point-five million dollars from the County’s 2020-21 budget.  Administrator Jeff Hecksel says staff will bring two drafts of the measure to their January 21 meeting to be voted on, one for each rate.  The 78-cent would eventually provide for 13 patrol deputies, not quite enough for 24-hour coverage.