Breaking down Jasper County Proposition One

County officials ask for 15 year extension on tax
Breaking down Jasper County Proposition One
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Jasper County voters are being asked to approve *extending* a county wide quarter cent sales tax by another fifteen years.

Back in 2016, voters in Jasper County approved a quarter cent sales tax.. which has gone toward building the new Jasper County Juvenile Center in Joplin.

Darieus Adams, Jasper County Commissioner:”Hopefully when they come and see this, and get a chance to drive by, then they’ll know that we were good stewards of their money.”

Now.. the county commission is asking voters to trust them with that money for an additional fifteen years.

Proposition one would extend the county wide quarter cent sales tax.. which right now will end in September 2023.. for another fifteen years until September 2038.

It would just extend the tax for the 15 years at its current rate, not increase it.

Adams:”The three areas that we would be addressing is to construct a new Joplin courthouse, and to renovate the Carthage courthouse, and then put an expansion on our jail.”

The Joplin courts building at 6th and Pearl was built in 1975.. and officials say the volume of cases since then has increased by 700 percent.

Something the building just can’t handle.

Erik Theis, Jasper County Court Administrator:”We’ve had jury mistrials, we have a mixing of litigants, for example victims are sitting next to the perpetrators, we have jurors that have to use the same public restrooms as the defendants that they’re passing judgment against. And so obviously, it’s not working out the way that it should.”

The new courts building would be at 7th and Pearl.. with an estimated cost of 35-million dollars.

The Carthage courthouse would also receive six million dollars in improvements.. for updated security and another courtroom.

And then around 10 million would be used at the Jasper County Jail to deal with overcrowding.

Sheriff Kaiser says the jail was designed to house around a hundred and eighty inmates. But he says on any given day, they can average between two hundred and fifty, and three hundred.”

Sheriff Randee Kaiser:”We would add in about fifty general population cells, also about twenty specialty cells, like administrative segregation cells. we also have a limited number of areas where contact visitation can take place. And so, those are some of the areas that would be addressed.”

Changes that Adams says.. won’t be able to happen without extending the tax.

Adams:”I don’t think there would be any possible way we could do it without a sales tax. and to me, sales tax is the most fair tax that there is.”

Jasper county residents will vote on Proposition one on April 2nd.