The Jackson County Council shifted income tax revenue Wednesday evening to fund a project to build a work release center in Seymour.
Council members voted 7-0 during their meeting at the courthouse annex to establish a correctional facility fund to pay for construction and funding of the center. The move will not lead to an increase in taxes but instead shifts a tenth of a percent of funds from an existing public safety tax fund.
That amount to be moved to the new fund will go directly to the county.
That will produce a projected $183,160 in revenue annually after the shift.
The county’s existing public safety tax fund, which is split between the county and its four municipalities, was reduced from 0.25% to 0.15%.
State statute designates county government entities as the body that distributes local income tax funds.
Seymour will have a net loss of $162,987, while Brownstown, Crothersville and Medora will collectively lose $20,173 in revenue after the shift.
While the county is moving some funds from the public safety tax, it also is reallocating economic development tax monies back to the municipalities. Those funds have been used for 20 years to finance the construction of the jail, which opened in the summer of 2000. The jail will be paid off this summer.
The difference in revenue each municipality will not receive comes from the public safety tax shift and the money the county is allocating back in economic development (the jail bonds) tax money.
“We didn’t shift everything we could have because we didn’t need to,” council President Dave Hall said.
The move came after a deal fell through with Seymour to join an interlocal agreement with Jackson and Jennings counties for the work release center. The city’s redevelopment commission committed $150,000 toward the project with the stipulation that the county would not reallocate the public safety funds. The city never submitted its plan to the county, and Hall said the council would have likely rejected it.
County, city and Jennings County officials met several times throughout the last year to discuss an agreement, who would be responsible for different parts of the project and how each would fund their respective share.
A portion of the work release center will be funded through property taxes that the county committed when the council believed Seymour would enter the agreement. The funds that will be reallocated will fill the remainder, Hall said.
Some of the money will fund projects at the jail and other programs there, Hall said.
“That will come from what we can’t do with property taxes because we do not want to raise taxes,” he said.
Hall said the next step for the work release center, which will be constructed in Seymour, is for the commissioners and bond council to create a committee to approve plans.
Jackson County will take care of property acquisition, maintenance, design and construction of the building, while Jennings County will pay $150,000 annually to fund its share, according to the agreement. That will allow Jennings County a third of the 152 beds at the facility.
Officials say it will be likely located on Dupont Drive near the Jackson County Learning Center in Seymour.
The move also came after Seymour did not choose to fund the Jackson County Judicial Center. A miscommunication between Jackson County and the city led to the city not participating in the funding of the judicial center, which opened in December.
The center will not be funded directly by the change, but the shift frees up other sources of revenue to allow the county to pay for the center.
The tax fund only allows for correctional facilities, but it alleviates costs out of the general fund from the jail that will be freed up, which can be put into the judicial center.
“We filled a gap, created a gap and filled that gap,” Hall said. “There’s fund flexibility for us.”
[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”By the numbers” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]
The differences in revenue following a shift in income tax money by the Jackson County Council is shown below.
Affect post rate allocation adjustment.
Entity;public safety;economic development;correctional facility;total