Levy failures force fire districts to make cuts

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Fire districts and cities in the Mid-Willamette Valley are making budget cuts following voters’ rejection of operating levy increases in the May election. The Statesman Journal reports the levy failure for Marion County Fire District 1 means a $2.4 million reduction in the department’s operating budget, including $1 million in budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year that will take the form of laying off three people and other cuts in service. The measures looked like sure things when they were filed, but when the pandemic hit, it was too late to pull them from the ballot or modify them. And the consensus is that taxpayers were uncertain of the future due to economic uncertainty decided against the increases.