Oregon County Won't Raise Taxes, Resorts to Posse

Josephine County Oregon, is the backwoods.  The county has an unemployment rate of 9.8%, a 20% poverty rate and a median income well below the state.  The county was also hit hard when timber payments were stopped.  Counties with large federal forests cannot develop on those lands or collect property taxes on them.  Property taxes is the prime way counties pay for services like the county sheriff, jail, health care and courts.  Josephine County is 67% Federal lands so when timber payments were stopped the county was hit hard for tax revenues.  The county coffers were now short $7.5 million annually.  When revenues dried up, local residents rejected a measure to raise taxes and as a result the sheriff and jail shut down.

The county residents have now resorted to doing their own patrols and police work, which has resulted in many a comment about conservatives and groups being hell bent on austerity.

Sorry folks wanting to blame conservatives for this one.  These people do not have the money to pay more taxes and if you want to blame anyone, blame Congress for stopping timber payments to rural regions where jobs are scarce.  It's no surprise areas with poverty rates above 20% reject an increase in mandatory taxes under these circumstances.

Bottom line, these rural areas are returning to the wild west and vigilante justice is sure to follow.  The jail already released 39 inmates into the wild,  The posse of Josephine County is actually run by the very Sheriff who lost his job due to budget cuts, so this situation isn't as bad as some in the press are making out.

If anyone wants to blame conservatives and politics, again look to Congress who have decimated rural areas  The rural folk of Oregon are not in love with austerity, they are simply plain broke.