Tax increase proposed to help Sheriff's Office, Detention Center

Friday, June 22, 2018

A proposal for a one cent sales tax increase, to be dedicated for use only for the Poinsett County Detention Center and Poinsett County Sheriff's Office, was presented to the Quorum Court Monday.

Poinsett County Sheriff Kevin Molder presented the proposal after meeting with key officials and working out the details. "When the jail was built, there was a quarter cent tax passed dedicated to the build and a quarter cent tax dedicated to the upkeep. This was back in 1993-1994. The quarter cent is not sufficient to keep up with costs today," Molder said.

The quarter cent sales tax brings in around $581,000 per year, and the new one cent sales tax would generate a little over $2.3 million per year. The cost to run detention center and sheriff's office is just over $2 million per year.

"We want to keep offering the best protection possible for our county. This increase will really help in letting us do just that," Molder said. Molder plans to have everything in order for the July meeting so the matter can be approved and be placed on the November ballot. The new sales tax, if passed, will relieve over a million dollars a year from the County General fund.

In other new news, the quorum court approved Resolution 2018-03 for the appointment of Anicka Ortiz-Reed to the Poinsett County Equalization Board for a three-year term. Reed's new term will turn through June 20, 2021. Also approved was Appropriations and Transfers Ordinance 2018-06 with transfers to various departments within the county totaling $66,355.69.

Assistant Director Leslie Bellamy with the Elections Division of the Secretary of State's Office was due to speak about voting equipment. Cantrell said some new news had developed about the issue and she will be at the July meeting to discuss the matter.

In closing, Cantrell thanked everybody for their support in his re-election as county judge. “Thanks to everyone for your support. Myself, along with all the others who were re-elected to county seats, we are very grateful,” Cantrell said.

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