Allie Colosky
The Bulletin

A property tax increase that would have brought two Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies to Crooked River Ranch failed to gather enough support in Tuesday’s special election.

Nearly 86 percent of Jefferson County citizens living in Crooked River Ranch voted against a measure that would have established a law enforcement district. Only 270 votes received were in favor of the measure compared to 1,603 against it, according to unofficial results late Tuesday night on the website for the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office.

“I’m very happy to hear the results,” said Carol Orr, a member of the Crooked River Ranch board of directors who voted against the increase.

“People are tired of getting taxes raised and we moved out here because it is not Sunriver, or wherever, and that’s how we like it,” Orr said.

The 95 cent tax per $1,000 of property value would have funded two Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies who would be assigned to the district. If approved, the measure would have brought an estimated $273,245 in tax revenue in the first year.

Residents of the ranch, however, voted overwhelmingly against the measure that would have increased property taxes by an average of $190 per home.

“I think the residents figured it out and said it wasn’t worth it,” Orr said. “People realized they weren’t going to get anything for their money. Nothing said that our crime rate was rising.”

Crooked River Ranch is a 10,000-acre rural residential development in Jefferson County, with a small portion in northern Deschutes County. The Deschutes County residents of the ranch did not vote in the election. The ranch is home to approximately 5,000 people, and no census information is available.

“I’m proud of our residents,” Orr said. “Once we got it on social media, it took off on a life of its own. It was really cool to see a true grassroots movement with people making their own signs in their garages and kitchens.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7829,