Voters pass county sheriff's levy
November 10, 2021
Voters on Tuesday, Nov. 2, passed Measure 22-189, the high-profile four-year law enforcement levy proposed by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.
It was the only countywide initiative on the special-election ballot.
Some 63% of the mid-valley’s voters shot down a similar proposal last November, but the results were flipped this time with 62% in support. However, more than 67,000 people took part in 2020, whereas only 29,000 (roughly 31% of the county’s 95,000-plus registrants) voted this year, which closely mirrors the 24,995-ballot turnout that cleared the current levy in May 2018.
Linn County Sheriff Jim Yon attributed the 2020 failure in part to unclear ballot wording that may have caused confusion among voters.
After working with the public to clarify the measure, Yon believed he had a better shot this time.
“I was optimistically confident,” he said. “The feedback we were getting back from folks was good.”
Yon was happy voters approved the levy, which will essentially continue the current one that expires in June 2022, this time at $2.98 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation, a 15-cent increase from the existing levy passed in 2018. The proposed rate this year was 10 cents lower than the $3.08 rate proposed last year.
Once the new levy takes effect in July, it will run through June 30, 2026. It helps the department fund operations, criminal prosecution and juvenile offender supervision and detention. Overall, it covers 67% of LCSO personnel, from corrections to criminal patrol to detectives and support services.