‘Yes’ or ‘no’ to extend jail tax for another 20 years, supervisors set ballot language

File photo<BR>
This photo shows the inside of the Camp Verde jail, including the second-floor inmate housing and the first-floor common area.

File photo<BR> This photo shows the inside of the Camp Verde jail, including the second-floor inmate housing and the first-floor common area.

With little discussion, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors, sitting as board of directors for the Yavapai County Jail District, signed off on the ballot language Wednesday for an extension of the existing quarter-cent sales tax.

County Administrator Phil Bourdon reminded board members they had approved placing the 20-year extension on the March 13, 2018, ballot at their Oct. 4 board meeting. “Staff has prepared a formal resolution and ballot measure language,” Bourdon said.

One member of the public, Ralph Hess, said he felt it was shortsighted for the county to continually look at sales tax to generate revenue.

“I urge all government officials to look at the hard road to find other revenue sources,” Hess said, mentioning property tax increases as one option. He said he hoped the supervisors wouldn’t wait until the next deadline approached, but to look into generating other types of revenue so as to have options from which to choose.

On the ballot, the explanation reads:

“The Board of Directors of the Yavapai County Jail District asks the voters of Yavapai County for approval to extend the existing jail district excise (sales) tax of up (one-fourth) of a cent per dollar ($0.0025) for an additional twenty years to continue revenues necessary to support the county jail system.

“The estimated yearly revenue needs for the Jail District are currently a minimum of $18.1 million per year, and will likely increase over time due to population growth and inflation.

“The County currently contributes $7 million per year to the Jail District from the County General Fund as legally required ‘maintenance of effort,’ with most of the remaining funds raised through the existing jail district excise (sales) tax. The proposal extends the existing jail district excise (sales) tax at its current rate.

“Shall the existing Yavapai County Jail District excise (sales) tax on eligible sales within Yavapai County of up to (one-fourth) of a cent per dollar ($0.0025) continue until June 30, 2040?”

Voters have the option of voting “yes” or “no.”

In other business, the supervisors on Wednesday approved:

• Services with Civiltec Engineering to survey Williamson Valley Road intersections for improvements prior to sending out to bid.

• Recognized Bob Betts for his contributions to Prescott Area Wildland Urban Interface Commission.

• Recognized veterans with proclamation for Veterans Day.

• Appointed Dan Cherry as Public Works Department director.