I-Team Waste Watch: Extra taxes for the jail
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:47 AM EDT
ALLEGAN, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - From cement blocks to wiring and wood, Allegan County taxpayers are picking up the tab for their new jail.
Representative Bob Genetski sponsored a bill to exempt counties from paying sales tax on construction materials for a jail.
"In my mind, they're being taxed twice," he said. "Double taxation and I don't think that's right."
The sales tax on all the materials adds up to around $476,000 that the county already paid.
It's now hoping to get that money back to reduce debt.
As it is, taxpayers have about an $18 million bond to pay off over the next 20 years for the new jail.
"The contract pays the sales tax, and in turn will, of course, charge that to the county, which means the county taxpayers are paying a sales tax certainly they don't need to," said Allegan County Administrator Rob Sarro.
The new facility will replace the existing one, which was built in 1961 for 62 inmates.
It's been stretched to house up to 220.
On top of space issues, Sergeant John Sexton said the current layout could lead to safety concerns, which he says the new jail will address.