CROSS COUNTY, Ark. – Early voting begins today for a Cross County jail tax.
Ty Griffin, a county representative for the criminal detention facility review committee of the First Judicial District, says, “the importance of this vote is far reaching for our community and will set our future in motion immediately.”
“Our current facility is out of date, out of compliance with Arkansas jail standards and a ticking time bomb of liability. If we fail to pass these two sales taxes to build and maintain a new criminal detention facility, then I am fearful of the path our community will be heading down. If the vote fails we could have our jail shut down by standards which would force us to go years paying other counties to house, feed, transport and provide healthcare for our inmates until we figure out a way to pay for a compliant jail. Phillips County has been doing this several years and paying somewhere near $900,000 a year. We simply cannot put our county in that position.”
The two measures being voted on are for a temporary 7/8 cent sales tax to pay for construction and a permanent 1/8 cent sales tax for maintenance and operation. The bond for the 7/8 will be on an 11-year term but is projected to be paid off in eight years. After the bond is repaid, then only the 1/8 cent tax will remain.
“The money we are looking at is a bargain compared to what we will spend in the future if this fails. Cross County is such a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Our community is and has been a shining star in the Delta and all of eastern Arkansas, let’s ensure we thrive in the future as well. Governor Hutchinson appointed me as our county’s representative for the criminal detention facility review committee of the First Judicial District in 2016 and it is a position I take seriously. Our community deserves and desperately needs a new facility. If we don’t invest in our own community, who will?”