Tax

The first of the new Proposition P sales tax revenue for jail/911 renovations and law enforcement salaries has been collected by Franklin County.

Just six months after approval from Franklin County voters, October was the first month the half-cent sales tax was collected. The new tax brought in $91,954. Deputy County Clerk Jeanine Stevens said the amount was just the Prop P taxes collected on vehicle sales in Franklin County for October.

“We didn’t expect to get anything until December,” Stevens explained. “The state is usually two months behind on the taxes. But, the vehicle sales taxes only run one month behind. It was a nice surprise.” 

The two other Franklin County half-cent sales taxes for general revenue and road and bridge brought in $435,616 each. 

Once the full sales taxes for October arrive, the Prop P sales tax will generate funds to parallel to the road and bridge and general fund each month.

Stevens explained the Prop P sales taxes are evenly divided into two separate categories for accounting purposes at the county level.

The first is labeled the “compensation fund” from which funds will be drawn to send to all county law enforcement agencies to supplement commissioned officer salaries.

The second fund is earmarked as “Law Enforcement and Dispatch” and will be used to pay for the planned $30 million in renovations and additions of the Franklin County Adult Detention Center and new 911 facility.

If sales taxes continue their current rate, the Proposition P sales tax should generate more than $6 million each year.

In 2017, the county’s other half-cent sales taxes generated $6.3 million. Overall, road and bridge and general revenue half-cent taxes and the two law enforcement quarter-cent taxes produced a combined $19.1 million in sales tax revenue in Franklin County.  

2018

Historically, November and December are two of the highest revenue months due to holiday spending, and Stevens said the county will not know the sales tax revenue for last month until next week.

Already this year, there have been three (February, June and August) months where the county has collected more than $600,000, and the highest sales tax-grossing month was June with $688,359.

Thus far in 2018, Franklin County has collected $17,740,736 in total sales taxes.

Funds 

With the monies split equally, $3 million each year will go toward the jail/911 renovations and the other $3 million funding law enforcement salaries.

Second District Commissioner Dave Hinson explained about $2.4 million annually will go toward debt service on the construction bonds. An additional $300,000 will go toward new jail staff and another $300,000 will go for 911 upgrades.

Last month, the county sold its first construction bond and an additional $15 million bond is planned for later in the project.

Debts Incurred

The bond issuance came at a time when the jail project costs are expected to increase rapidly.

Between August 2017 and August 2018, the county has paid consulting firm Navigate Building Solutions $79,943.

From July to December 2018, the county will pay Navigate $60,906 per month, totaling $395,885.

The architectural firm FGM Architects will make about $2.1 million for its services to the end of the project in 2020.

According to county documents, FGM Architects will be paid $218,612 per month from July to December 2018.

The county has a permanent revenue stream in place to pay back the construction notes.