STATEHOUSE—A bill co-authored by State Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) to raise funds for a new jail in Starke County received a hearing today in the House Ways and Means Committee. The members of Ways and Means must vote on the legislation before it can be considered by the full House.
House Bill (HB) 1213 allows the Starke County Council to increase the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) to finance, construct, and equip a jail facility. The county council is only permitted to raise enough funds to cover the costs of the jail, and the additional tax rate cannot increase more than .65 percent.
“A bipartisan group of local officials have asked for this measure,” said Rep. Dermody. “We want to give local government the option to provide law enforcement agencies with an updated facility to effectively administer justice in Starke County. Not only will the county have access to a jail that meets 21st century demands, but citizens will benefit from more efficient law enforcement.”
The plans for the jail proposal include the main facility, related buildings, and a parking area. In addition to the CEDIT option, HB 1213 also allows Starke County to issue bonds to keep the financial burden from falling entirely on taxpayers.
“Now that the House Democrats have returned to their seats, I look forward to this bill moving forward so Starke County can begin construction on this crucial new facility.”