Following last week’s story of the potential tax increase for home owners in madison county, tensions have been high county wide. However, tonight residents can voice their concerns and speak to officials at a town hall meeting regarding this proposed increase in order to fund the much-awaited expansion of the jail.
The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Perkins Building on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus.
WBONtv spoke to Madison County Jailer Steve Tussey about the chronically overcrowded detention center to get the inside look at exactly how overburdened the jail is. Tussey says he made a decision to cap the inmate population at 450 recently as there were no more options, even with the home incarceration program.
This is even considering that nearly 100 Madison County inmates have been spread across 12 other county jails in Kentucky. This, Tussey says, is currently costing the County and taxpayers $1.5 Million a year. Tissey continues that he has short term and long term goals in place, including an agreement with Laurel County to house inmates when their current jail expansion project is completed in the near future.
MCDC was designed to only have 184 beds, but has been recently hovering around 413 inmates. The government for the county will hear a second reading and then vote on the potential increase in the coming weeks.
For the first time since 1966, property taxes county-wide in Madison County could be raised.
This is following this morning’s Madison County Fiscal Court meeting, where it was proposed in a first reading to potentially raise property taxes in order to 100% fund the long-awaited jail expansion for the county.
WBONtv spoke with Madison County Treasurer Glenna Baker as well as Jailer for the County Steve Tussey, who said that many may be up in arms over this potential tax increase for the County.
However, Baker reiterates that this is only the first reading, and that the taxes on property have not been increased in decades.
Additionally, officials report that they have looked at all other options in order to fund the jail’s strains, where there are currently over 430 inmates in the 184 bed facility.
Laws statewide affect what the County can raise as far as taxes, as Baker reports in the video. Therefore, the county has no choice but to vote on this new potential increase strictly for property owners. They add that this is separate from the Richmond and Berea city property taxes, and applies county-wide.
Stay tuned to WBONtv as we will update this story when the Fiscal Court takes up the second reading in the coming weeks.