City of Vincennes requests jail tax be removed

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) – The city of Vincennes announced Monday it would ask the State to remove its Jail Tax from the city’s Economic Development Income Tax. The moves comes, city officials explain, as the tax will have paid for the Knox County Jail by the end of 2014. The tax, which was imposed in 2003, paid for the $12.7 million dollar jail.

City Council President Duane Chattin worked with Vincennes Clerk/Treasurer David Culp to put together the plan.

“It’s .25 per cent on your income tax, so it will be a pretty good change,” said Chattin. According to News 10 records, the newly built Knox County jail construction was finished in 2006, with inmates moving into the facility in 2007. The move took the Sheriff’s Department, alongside the inmates from across the courthouse to S. Decker Road, on the outskirts of town.

According to city records, the jail tax could only be imposed on constituents for the building of the jail, however, with a lighter tax load, Council Members discussed pursuing alternative measures to help a stiff city budget.

“At the end of the day the people are going to experience a decrease in their taxes due to the payoff of the jail, but, could the city use part of that to help shore up its budget particularly as we move forward, that’s something that should be debated and will be debated,” said Chattin.

The Knox County Jail houses between 160-180 inmates on a normal day and provides transfer services for the Indiana Department of Corrections and surrounding county jails. The opportunity to do so, city officials say, allows the county to collect funds for those services.

“It’s something the county needed, it certainly is more efficient, we needed extra capacity and I know that they have been able to house prisoners from the state of Indiana, that brings in some revenue,” said Chattin.

Knox County Sheriff Mike Morris shared the same statement about the tax and said it’s an opportunity for taxpayers to close the chapter on the jail.

“The tax that was first created to finance the new jail will be withdrawn and the county can move on,” added Morris.

According to a city document submitted to the state by Chattin and Culp, the tax withdrawal would go into effect January 1, 2015.

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