Voters in Curry County have rejected a $3.2 million public safety tax increase that would have tripled local property taxes to restore law enforcement services cut as the federal government ends timber subsidies.
County Commission Chairman David Brock Smith said Wednesday he will call the governor's office to talk about whether an emergency declaration is needed to prop up county finances.
A new state law gives the governor and county commissioners authority to jointly declare a public safety emergency if voters refuse to support minimum services. An emergency declaration allows commissioners to impose a surcharge on an existing tax to cover half the budget gap, and the state would pick up the rest.
The earliest commissioners could vote on the issue is Thursday.