08/04/17 – 2:41 P.M.
Business leaders in Hancock County raised concerns about the evidence of a needed sales tax increase early this week. Commissioner Brian Robertson said that the increase is needed that that they failed to check all of the statistics.
Robertson added that the jail expansion is a need and not a want. He explained that the beds in the Hancock County Jail are full and it costs money to transport inmates to and from other county jails.
He added that they are also having to release felons because they can’t keep them in the jail due to the lack of space. Robertson used the example of a felon released back to Michigan a few weeks prior. He said that this sends the wrong message about Hancock County not being tough on crime.
Robertson also addressed the concerns of why the tax will be over a 20 year period instead of the previous 10 year tax. He said that they will need a source of long term income to ensure the jail expansion.
Robertson added that it is a use tax which means that the money will go towards capital improvement and operations. It cannot be saved.