Washington County passes sheriff's levy
Washington County voters gave a big "yes" to renewing a five-year levy to support patrols, investigations and other services in the county's urban unincorporated communities.
Ballots from Tuesday's election had Measure 34-272 passing by a 76 percent majority with almost 26,000 votes cast.
"The initial results look promising, and we anticipate the early number support the passing of the Enhanced Sheriff's Patrol levy," Sheriff Pat Garrett said in a statement after the first totals were released.
He thanked voters on behalf of the staff, which constitutes the third largest law enforcement agency in the Portland metro area.
A county spokesman said later it was the greatest margin of approval in the district's 30-year history.
The measure extends the current rate of 68 cents per $1,000 of taxable property value for another five years, starting in mid-2018.
An average homeowner would pay $191.92 in the first year of the renewed levy, up $7.40 from the final year of the current levy in 2017-18.
The Enhanced Sheriff's Protection District takes in about 200,000 people, a third of the county's population. It extends to unincorporated communities north of Beaverton, between Beaverton and Hillsboro, and outside Tigard and King City.
The district, which dates back to 1987, has a permanent tax rate of 64 cents per $1,000.
"Your support allows us to continue our law enforcement services including investigating major crimes, advanced training in crisis intervention and ensuring consistent policing services to support population growth in the District over the next five years," Garrett said. "Together, we continue to ensure Washington County is the safest urban county in Oregon."
About 60 percent of the county's people live within cities and did not vote on Measure 34-272.
The levy is separate from a countywide public safety levy, which voters extended in November 2015 and started in mid-2016, that funds the sheriff and other programs, such as the district attorney, juvenile and probation services. The sheriff also shares in countywide property taxes from the general fund.
Adds statement from Sheriff Pat Garrett. Fixes typo. Updates vote count with all ballots tallied.