Subscribe Today! Please read: Readers of local content on the Herald and News website – heraldandnews.com – will require a subscription beginning today. For the first few months, non-subscribers will still be able to view 10 articles for free. If you are not already a subscriber, now is a great time to join for as little as $10/month!
Ballot Box

A voter returns his ballot to the box outside the Klamath County Clerk’s Office in this file photo.

Klamath County voters will decide whether or not to raise the transient room tax on hotel, motel and vacation rental beds in the county by 3% in a special election scheduled for May 18.

The measure, which would raise the room tax in Klamath County from 8% to 11%, is the biggest item currently on the ballot.

The tax would be included in a hotel bill and is charged to the occupants of RV parks, overnight stays, vacation rentals and certain campsites.

The transient room tax was first adopted in Klamath County in 1978 at 6%, and was increased to 8% in 2006. Of the proposed increase, 70% of the dollars raised would go to funding tourism promotion in the county, and the other 30% would go to county government.

The city of Medford upped its transient room tax rate to 11% in August 2020. The rate in Deschutes County is 8%, or 10.4% in the city of Bend. Grants Pass will up their rate from 9% to 12% on March 1.

In addition, the ballot will also include candidates for open seats on local school boards, fire district boards and park districts.

Seats are open on the Klamath Community College board, as well as the Klamath County School District, Klamath Falls City Schools, Klamath County Fire Districts 1, 3, 4 and 5 and South Suburban Sanitary District, among others.

For a list of all of the positions up for election this May and to file for candidacy, visit the Klamath County clerk’s office’s website or go to the County Government Center at 305 Main Street in Klamath Falls.

The last day to file for candidacy is March 18. The last day to register to vote in this election is April 27. Ballots will be mailed out April 28.

Reporter Becca Robbins can be reached at 541-885-4481 or rrobbins@heraldandnews.com.