The Sevier County Quorum Court passed a resolution at their June 11 meeting, placing a 1/4-cent sales tax on the November 6 General Election ballot. In 2005, Sevier County voters approved a one-quarter cent sales and use tax referred to as the Jail Bond Tax to pay off bonds issued to construct a county jail. With the imminent payoff of the bond, the 1/4-cent tax will expire, leaving the sheriff’s department with a budget shortfall
According to county officials, in 2005, Sevier County voters also approved a three-eighths cent sales and use tax to maintain and operate the county jail. The three-eighths cent sales and use tax will continue after the jail construction bond issue is retired.
County officials have determined that the three-eighths cent sales and use tax will not be sufficient to cover future jail operational costs, which include personnel, insurance, utilities, food, mandated medical care for inmates and repair and maintenance of the jail facility.
“It is essential to the public safety and welfare of Sevier County citizens that Sevier County shall maintain and operate a county jail that is sufficient to the needs of the county and meets state mandated jail standards,” the resolution states. “It is the opinion of the Sevier County Quorum Court that the levy of the proposed county-wide one-quarter cent through the approval of Sevier County voters is necessary for continued operation of a county jail sufficient to protect the welfare of Sevier County citizens.”
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