County Council Holds Public Hearing on Income Tax Increase | New

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ANDERSON – Public hearings on a proposed Madison County local tax increase to fund construction of a new prison and operating expenses are set for Tuesday.

Madison County Council will hold two separate public hearings at 6 p.m. in the boardroom of the Madison County Government Center.

The two public hearings will take place at the same time.

A hearing is about a 0.2% increase in local income tax to pay for the construction of a new prison.

The council will consider that a 0.2% increase in local income tax would generate $ 5.4 million to cover bail payments when a new prison is built.

This tax can only be implemented by a vote of Madison County Council under legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly to pay for the costs of building new prisons.

BakerTilly financial consultant Brian Colton said the .2% is the maximum rate allowed by state law.

Colton said the estimated cost of a 400-bed prison would be $ 86 million with the issuance of a bond of $ 72.9 million over 20 years.

The council will also consider a 0.3% increase in income tax for public safety.

This tax increase could take effect from 2022, there must be a majority vote of the county tax council by the end of October.

The proposed 0.3% increase in income tax for public safety would require a majority vote from the Madison County Tax Board.

The tax council is made up of the county council and the council of all other towns and municipalities.

This tax is estimated at $ 8 million.

Council Chairman Ben Gale said the county council could vote to pass the two tax increases at the September meeting, as the ordinances were introduced last month.

Gale said final votes could be delayed until the October board meeting.

“I believe we have the support for the tax increases,” he said.

Gale explained that the public safety income tax increase is intended to provide the funding needed to pay off the jail bail if the county’s income levels were to drop.

“We could keep the first year of public safety tax money in a savings account and use the rest for county expenses,” he said. “I hope the county will be in a better financial position in the future.”

Gale said that currently the Madison County Public Safety Income Tax is the 46e highest among 92 counties in Indiana and a 0.5% increase would make the county 40e the state’s highest on the local income tax rate.

“The prison rent payment would be covered by the correctional rate, and the public safety income tax would cover the bail payment in the event of a drop in income,” said Colton.

The county council initially proposed a 0.15% increase in income tax for public safety, but local criminal justice officials are urging passage of a 0 rate increase. , 3%.

Officials said the tax increase was necessary to adequately fund the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and the prison, court system, and public defender’s office.

If approved at 0.3%, it will generate $ 3 million for the county; $ 3.6 million for Anderson; $ 560,000 for Elwood; $ 364,000 for Alexandria; $ 237,000 for Pendleton; and $ 280,000 for other cities.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.


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