Franklin County Jail Sales Tax Increase (November 2011)

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A Franklin County Jail Sales Tax Increase measure was on the November 8, 2011 ballot in Franklin County.

This measure was approved

  • YES 7,766 (61.44%)Approveda
  • NO 4,873 (38.56%)[1]

This measure sought to increase the county sales tax by a rate of .3 percent for a period of thirty years in order to pay for construction of an expansion to the county jail as well as pay for operational costs of the jail. If approved, the tax increase would provide around $17.8 million for construction of the jail. Previous attempts at getting a jail tax approved in the county had failed.[2] County officials sought an architectural firm to make calculations for the jail expansion to ensure that the proposed tax increase would be enough to fully fund construction. The jail holds nearly twice the amount of prisoners it was originally built for.[3]

On October 4, the Sheriff had allowed residents to tour the current jail facility so they could see first hand why the tax increase and subsequent new jail were important for the county. The Sheriff noted that if the new jail was built, two-thirds of it would be filled with the current number of inmates. The tax will be in place for 30 years and 60 percent of the money received will go towards the construction and maintenance of the new jail. The chairman of the Franklin County Law and Justice Citizens Advisory Committee noted that while he did not want to pay higher taxes, some investment in the community are needed to keep crime rates low and having a sales tax means those that do not necessarily live in the area would also contribute.[4]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

The Board of Franklin County Commissioners adopted Resolution No. 2011-____, concerning a proposition for a county and cities’ criminal justice and public purposes sales and use tax. This proposition would authorize the sales and use tax in Franklin County and Cities therein be increased three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) for thirty years to improve, expand, operate, and maintain the County jail, and support criminal justice or public purposes as permitted bv law. Should this proposition be approved?[5][6]

Additional reading