Washington County voters have passed public safety levy Measure 34-296 with 55% of the vote, unofficial voting results Tuesday, May 19, show.
The levy replaces a previous levy, which was set to expire in June 2021 after five years, and raises the tax rate to 47 cents per $1,000 of taxable property value from the previous 42 cents.
It is the first time in 19 years the public safety levy has increased.
The levy will provide $195.7 million in funding over the next five years for public safety services to cities and unincorporated areas of Washington County, prosecution, jail and other incarceration services, probation and parole supervision, juvenile crime prevention, special law enforcement teams and other law enforcement services, such as forensics and investigations.
Specific additions to existing services are four more jail deputies, another deputy district attorney, three community corrections officers and a supervisor, and diversion services for juvenile offenders. The higher amount includes money for housing and employment specialists to help survivors of domestic violence and rent assistance for a maximum of one year — known as "rapid rehousing" — to recently released offenders.
In 2021, homeowners, with an average assessed value of $300,000, will pay $141 per year, or about $20 more than they paid in 2020.
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