Quorum Court approves sales tax increase for November ballot

Sales tax to help sheriffs department on ballot

POINSETT COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A sales tax increase could be coming to Poinsett County.

The quorum court voted unanimously Monday night to put a one percent sales tax on the November ballot.

The tax would go specifically to the sheriff's office and detention center.

Poinsett County Sheriff Kevin Molder described several improvements the department could make with this money, and at the top of the list was updated equipment for deputies.

Several costly problems with the sheriff's office infrastructure like replacement of the chiller and collapsed pipes have really stretched the budget in recent years.

Many things like deputy vehicles and bulletproof vests have been out on the back burner to cover those major building issues.

Using outdated equipment adds even more risk to an already dangerous job.

"It is very important for us to keep our equipment updated, if we're responding to an emergency call, take for example a home invasion, a deputy is going to respond to that quickly and try to get there as quickly as they can to keep someone from entering the home," Sheriff Molder said. "And when they're doing that, if aging equipment breaks down, they're unable to get there. Our equipment needs to be in good working order."

That's just the beginning of what Sheriff Molder would like to do with the money.

However, if citizens do not vote to pass the increase, Sheriff Molder fears cuts will have to be made to keep a balanced budget next year.

Sheriff Molder will be planning town meetings in each city in Poinsett County to hear any comments and answer any questions.

Then it will be up to citizens to vote in November.

Copyright 2018 KAIT. All rights reserved.