Oregon timber counties could lose 10 percent


President Barack Obama’s proposed 2012 budget will continue special funding for timber counties, but 10% lower than previous levels.

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President Barack Obama’s proposed 2012 budget will continue special funding for timber counties, but 10% lower than previous levels.

The proposal includes $328 million overall for the first of five years.

The proposal does not include a funding source, raising the strong possibility it will not survive under new House Republican budget rules requiring new programs to be offset by cuts in other programs, said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.

“As of a month ago we weren’t in the budget,” despite Obama’s campaign promise to support special federal funding for timber counties, DeFazio said. “Somewhere in there he was persuaded to put it in the budget. It’s a good start. But only a start.”

Mike McArthur, executive director of the Association of Oregon Counties, said it was good news, but far from a guarantee that budget problems were over for timber counties such as Curry and Josephine, where taxes are very low and voters have turned down public safety tax increases.

Read more at Bloomberg.

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