Saturday, April 07, 2012
County commissioners bypassing voters for new jail debt in Huntsville
Walker County Commissioners decided to bypass voters and build a new jail with "certificates of obligation" issued without voter approval. They say it's out of fear that waiting a few months for an election would allow construction costs to rise too dearly, but IMO it's because they've seen jail construction plebiscites in other mid-sized jurisdictions fail - most prominently in Smith County, where voters rejected jails three times before approving a radically scaled down version - and don't want to risk voters nixing the idea. In many cases, the decision to build a new jail results directly in a local property-tax increase. And of course, with so much state prison property in Huntsville, it's not like there's an excessively large property tax base in Walker County to begin with.
Posted by Gritsforbreakfast at 6:16 AM