This May, voters in Curry County's cities and unincorprated areas will be asked to approve a property tax increase to raise nearly $4.5 million and maintain the current level of public safety services provided to the entire community.

After much debate, the Curry County Commissioners on Thursday afternoon directed County Attorney Jerry Herbage to craft the wording for a ballot question that will be placed on the May ballot.

The wording will essentially direct Herbage to "write the ballot title and language for a five-year public safety levy" for the May ballot, Smith said. The levy would assess $1.97 per $1,000 assessed valuation for residents living in unincorporated Curry County and $1.84 per $1,000 for those living in the county's three incorporated cities: Brookings, Gold Beach and Port Orford.

That means an in-city homeowner with a house assessed at $160,000 would pay $294.40 more a year andndash; or $24.53 a month. A homeowner in unincorporated Curry County would pay $315.20 more a year, or $26.27 more a month.

Commissioners had also considered asking voters to approve a sales tax, a move that was opposed by merchants who said it would discourage California residents from crossing the state border to shop.