Warrick Co. officials looking into public safety income tax - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Warrick Co. officials looking into public safety income tax

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WARRICK CO., IN (WFIE) -

Warrick County officials are looking into a new tax proposal focused on public safety. 

They say something has to be done, or they'll have to cut funds to emergency services.

City and county officials met to hear about a tax option some believe could help ease budget problems. 

It's called a Public Safety LOIT, or local option income tax. If it's put into place, Warrick County, and the towns and cities within it, would have more money to spend on public safety. 

County Commissioner Marlin Weisheit says in the next few years - if the county can't find a solution - they could be forced to make cuts to emergency services. 

"That could happen where we actually have to start cutting positions in law enforcement or fire services or ambulance services. People I don't think want that to happen. None of us do," Weisheit said.

Now, officials are looking into a public safety local option income tax. Through that Warrick County and its cities and towns would get about six million dollars to be divided and then distributed to safety services, such as the sheriff's office, police departments and fire departments. 

Weisheit says not having to use money in the general fund for public safety would allow them to use that money for other important things, like road repairs. 

"I mean everybody expects a good road to drive on and a safe road to drive on, and we want to get to that point," Weisheit says.

If the income tax is put into place, a levy freeze income tax or property tax relief would have to come with it. Ultimately, the county council will decide whether this tax option is right for Warrick County. 

"That's all we can ask is that the county council takes a very serious look at it to see if this is something that might need to be imposed," Weisheit says.

The county council will soon decide whether they want to research this tax option.
Sheriff Brett Kruse and some Boonville city officials say they hope council members will agree to that to find how it would affect those living and working in Warrick County. 

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