Sunday, Mar 9, 2014
Board Seeks Sales Tax Hike to Fund Courthouse Renovations
JEFFERSON COUNTY -- A multi-million dollar renovation to the Jefferson County courthouse could begin as early as next year. County leaders say the courthouse needs serious repairs.
To fund the project, the board is considering raising the county sales tax by a quarter of a percent.
"There are real concerns, the electrical, the HVAC, the plumbing," said county chairman Robert White. "We know that is the bulk of the expense."
Many officeholders are in favor of the renovations, but there are little funds available. The county will have to raise the sales tax by a quarter of a percent to pay for the fixes.
"It would raise roughly a $1 million a year," said White. "That money would be obligated to the Sheriff's operations which would free up money in the general funds for financing or paying as we go on renovation of the courthouse."
The board votde in favor of the measure Monday night. The sales tax increase will be placed on a March ballot and left for voters to decide.
"I'd probably vote against it," said Jefferson County resident Alva Buchanan. "I'm taxed enough right now. However, I would much rather it come from a sales tax than a property tax. That way everybody from out of town could help pay for it instead of just the people of Jefferson County."
If the sales tax increase is defeated by voters, the county would be forced to put the courthouse repairs on the back burner.
"Without the revenue source we would be at status quo and we will not be able to take on any of the major tasks that we are facing," explained White.
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