Sebastian County leaders will ask voters to extend a 1-percent sales tax in a special election on May 14.
Money from the tax will go to the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center, sheriff’s office, rural fire departments, senior centers, and the Sebastian County EMS Service.
“We want to make sure that we have enough beds and stuff to house people that society says is dangerous,” said Sebastian County Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck. “This is not a new tax. This is a continuation of an already existing tax that supports the daily operations of public safety.”
The tax comes up for renewal every 10 years.
“It’s been generating about $21 million,” said Sebastian County Judge David Hudson. “It’ll be in the $20 million category and those funds are distributed to all 11 cities and the county government.”
Hollenbeck says the tax would pay for deputies and possibly additional staffing at the jail.
“When we have so many people who are incarcerated and we don’t have the staff, a proper staff to run the jail, then of course is becomes dangerous for those deputies,” said Hollenbeck.
The county says money from the tax would also go towards street programs, parks, and the Scott-Sebastian County Public Library.