Smile Politely

“Is the Sales Tax a Jails Tax?” forum taking place October 5th

At 6:45 pm on Wednesday, October 5, Urbana alderman Aaron Ammons will host a panel presenting arguments against the 0.25% sales tax being proposed by the Champaign County Board. This tax proposal will appear on the November ballot as a “facilities referendum.”

The focus of the opposition that will be presented at this panel focuses on the $18 million of the sales tax revenue which will go to fund the expansion of the satellite jail and the relocation of the Sheriff’s office. The jail population has been shrinking in Chanpaign County for years, and still disproportionately affects African-Americans and the mentally ill. Given the availability of other criminal justice options, we believe there is no need to expand the jail. We also believe that the important projects that the facilities referendum, would support can be funded through other means in the future, at least in part through currently-existing county revenue streams that will be opening up in the next few years.

Panelists at Wednesday’s event include Wandjell Harvey-Robinson, Charles Davidso, Rohn Koester, and Kristina Khan, all of whom have unique perspectives on incarceration within and beyond Champaign County, as well as the other complex issues swirling around the facilities referendum. After the speakers present there will be time for questions and discussion. Refreshments will be served.

Related Articles