Knox County considers local income tax increase for jail

The increase would supply roughly $800,000 dollars a year to the project.

Posted: Oct 9, 2019 7:33 PM

KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - The Knox County jail was built just over a decade ago. While the jail is relatively new the sheriff says its already outgrown the county's needs.

Knox County sheriff Doug Vantlin says, "When we moved in, we have a 200-bed facility, and I think we came in here with a little over a hundred. And then over the years, it's just, like I said, the trend is continuing to rise."

There are currently 265 inmates being held at the Knox County jail. It's a problem that was considered when the jail was built.

Vantlin explains, "This jail, when it was built, had the plans laid out for an addition onto what we already have. So it would be almost mirror what we've already got."

Taking the 200 beds up to 400. Meaning enough room for the county to house local and out-of-county inmates.

Vantlin says, "The whole Sheriff's department is right around four and a half million dollars. And with the out of county prisoners that we've got right now, we're looking seven or eight hundred thousand a year is what we're bringing in."

Vantlin says the extra money would help to support the department. 

The county council is now considering a local income tax increase of two-tenths of a cent. That increase would supply roughly $800,000 a year to pay for the project.

Vantlin says, "We can either act now or react later. We're not alone in this. There's over forty counties in the state already that have built on or are in the process of building on or building a new jail. So it's a trend that everybody's seeing."

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