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LETTER: Why does new jail have to be so large?

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I just wanted to ask the people of Perry County if they wanted a jail, and if so did they want one so much larger than the one that has served us so well for so long?

Since the county’s population has not increased in 100 years, do they feel it is necessary to have one so large?

I have heard figures from $8 million to $12 million. This is more than any other building in our county, public or private. More than any school, are jails more important than schools? Why does it need to be so big? I hear all of the fussy math about it bringing in money. That’s bull.

The fact is that jails, prisons and such do not increase our county’s or country’s GDP for they produce no product.

We put the money for a new school on a ballot for referendum a few years back and the voters shot it down. The commissioners knew that would happen again so they took it upon themselves to ram this down our throats.

Just another half a percent but you put that on top of our current tax burden of 25 percent for an individual making $50,000 per year federal, 3.4 percent state, 1.06 county, plus property tax and sales tax, gas tax, recycling and solid-waste fees. Should I go on? Not to mention the Social Security tax, which is slated to go up 2 percent in January and should if any of us want to use it beyond 2030.

Also, Bush-era tax cuts are slated to expire in January 2013, so we will all see our marginal rates go up then. Why can’t our government live in its means? I have to every time I get a raise. They do too.

Why do they think I need a cut in my bring-home pay, to pay for three times the jail we need?

I know every king wants a bigger castle but they should do it with funds currently brought in and I see no need for a grand jail with so much added capacity – for a county that is not growing.

Call your commissioner and every other politician unless you want this built on our dimes.

Editor’s Note: The News reported in April that county officials had approved a not-to-exceed cost of $12 million for a new jail.

JIM SMITH
Tell City