Commissioners Send 3 Year Criminal Justice Levy at $1.48 Per Thousand to May Ballot
Following an almost three hour public hearing at the Anne Basker Auditorium the Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed on to the May ballot a three year criminal justice levy at $1.48 per thousand dollars of assessed evaluation.
The Commissioners heard from a wide cross section of the county from some opposed to any tax increase to others saying we need it now.
One idea that gained significant traction was the concept of a flat tax, where every residence paid the same amount. There were pros and cons for the idea. The Commissioners stated there wasn’t time to fully evaluate the flat tax or what it would take to institute.
Following the closing of public input the commissioners seem to agree on most everything except the length of the levy. After significant debate Commissioner Hare asked for a show of hands from the audience on the preference of a 5 year levy, then a 4 year levy, and a three year levy. There were no votes for the 4 year, but the three year levy carried the audience 14 to 12.
The Commissioners made it clear that the revenue collected from this levy would be used exclusively for criminal justice to include increased jail capacity, funding prosecutors for the D.A.’s office, 8 deputies for school security, animal control, juvenile justice, rural patrols, funds for the administration of the Sheriff’s office that includes court security and civil duties.
Board Chairman Simon Hare made it clear this levy would not fund the system as it was prior to this fiscal year, but does achieve a more acceptable level of public safety.