Newton County voters to consider public safety tax

     (AP) – Voters in Newton County will consider a sales tax increase

to help fund salaries for sheriff’s deputies, which are among the lowest in the


     A special election is planned for Feb. 14 asking voters to approve a 1 percent

sales and use tax to fund public safety. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports

that revenue from the proposed tax would pay for operations at the county jail

and the sheriff’s office, including pay raises.

     Officials say the starting salary now for a full-time deputy is about $21,260

per year.

     In 2008, Newton County voters approved a tax increase to build a jail, but

voters twice rejected another tax to fund its operations. Officials say the

county accepts inmates from other parts of the state to fund jail operations.


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