8 October 2014
Local Governments Rush to Tax Pot
Nearly two-dozen cities and several counties in Oregon are racing to enact sales taxes on marijuana before the November fourth election.
Some would use it as a tool to increase revenues; others just want to give potential pot dealers a reason to stay out of town.
If approved by voters, Measure 91 would give the state sole authority to tax marijuana. But, officials, including the Lane County Board of Commissioners and the Florence City Council, believe if they enact the tax prior to Election Day, their taxes would remain in effect.
That’s despite the technicality that they would be taxing sales of an illegal substance.
Florence City Councilors held a work session this week to further discuss the idea and directed the city attorney to draft an ordinance for their consideration. Lane County Commissioners are headed to potential approval of a pot tax October 21st.
Gas Prices Continue Slide
Week by week the cost of driving in Oregon is going down.
The average cash price of regular gasoline in Florence dropped three cents in the past week to $3.57.
Oregon’s statewide average, as measured by Triple-A, fell eight cents in one week and is now at $3.60. The national average price fell by a similar amount and stands at $3.27 a gallon.
Rabies Detected in West Lane County
Two family cats in Noti are at risk after they were found playing with a dead bat in a barn. Lane County Public Health officials say preliminary tests show the bat had rabies.
The owners of the cats reported the incident to public health officials last week. A family dog had been vaccinated for rabies as the law required. But, that same requirement does not extend to cats.
Health official Jason Davis said the family is required by law to keep the cats quarantined for six months… or euthanize them to prevent the risk of possible spread. Davis added the family has not yet made a decision.
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and mammals. It’s almost always fatal once symptoms appear.
So far this year in Oregon no domestic pets have tested positive for rabies, but seven bats and two foxes have.
The incident is an example, say officials, that rabies vaccines can provide a “buffer of immune animals” between humans and rabid wild animals such as bats.
Another Fatality on 126
One person died and two Eugene residents were critically injured in a head-on crash yesterday afternoon that closed Highway 126 between Walton and Mapleton for several hours.
Oregon State Troopers say they are continuing the investigation into the cause of the crash that occurred about 4:30 Tuesday afternoon.
Firefighters had to extricate the occupants of a pickup. 56-year old Deborah Hope was airlifted from the scene to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Corvallis; 58-year old Richard Hennigan of Eugene was transported by ambulance to Springfield’s RiverBend Hospital. Police say both suffered serious injuries in the crash.
The 40-year old male driver of the other vehicle died at the scene. Police have not released his identity pending notification of family members.
The highway, three miles west of Walton, was closed completely for about two hours; it reopened to one lane of traffic at about 6:30. Two-way traffic was restored about eight pm.