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Allen County Council considering tax rate increase to pay for new jail

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Residents in Allen County could soon see their taxes go up. In order to fund building the new county jail, the County Commissioners asked the County Council to hold a public hearing on a proposed 0.2 percent tax rate increase.

County Commissioners’ Chief of Staff Chris Cloud said it is impossible to fund building the new jail without a tax rate increase. County Council President Tom Harris said the Council will need to decide what that tax rate will look like.

“There’s two taxes basically that fund jails,” Harris said. “One’s a property tax. One’s being referred to as a LIT or Local Income Tax.”

Cloud said if the County Council passes the Commissioners’ proposal, the income tax rate would go from $1.48 of every $100 earned going to the county to $1.68. That extra 20 cents from each taxpayer in the county would go directly to funding the building of the new county jail.

That’s all if the council approves a LIT increase. Harris said the LIT can be adjusted throughout its tenure whereas a property tax increase would be fixed during the time it’s in place.

Harris said whatever the Council decides, the increase would only last until the county has enough money to build the new jail.

Before any decision can be made, the Council must first hold a public hearing. Cloud said if the rate gets approved by Oct. 1, the county would start collecting on Jan. 1. The Commissioners have urged the Council to hold a public hearing in June.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.