The Journal Gazette
Friday, November 05, 2021 1:56 pm

Commissioners preparing possible tax option for new jail

OK contract to gather information needed if county pursues local income tax for facility

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

The Allen County Commissioners want all of the options on the table when it’s time to talk seriously about how to pay for a new jail.

The commissioners approved a contract Friday with Elevatus Architecture that is to cost no more than $5,250. The architecture firm is going to help the county with compiling and preparing all of the information needed if the county pursues county local income tax to fund the new jail.

The process for counties to use county local income tax for incarceration facilities was passed into law by the Indiana legislature in 2018. The law allows counties to impose a tax rate for correctional facilities and rehabilitation facilities.

The law specifies that tax rates have to be in increments of 0.01% and are not to exceed 0.2%. The rate cannot be set for more than 20 years.

The Allen County Jail, which is routinely overcrowded, is the subject of a 2020 federal lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union that alleges prisoners' rights are being violated.

A new jail with space for 1,500 beds is expected to cost $150 million, county officials have said.

Chris Cloud, the commissioners’ chief of staff, said the work is being done now in case the commissioners decide to look at the county local income tax option for funding the jail project.

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