March 23, 2016 Edition

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County sales tax to
go into effect April 1

Effective April 1, Lawrence County sales tax will increase by .5 percent for a total county sales tax of 2.5 percent.

The additional .5 percent represents a three-eighth of a cent tax to fund construction of a new county jail that will be collected for approximately 22 years and a one-eighth of a cent tax to fund maintenance that will not expire.

Cities that also have a one percent tax will see a 10 percent overall sales tax with the county increase and the state sales tax, which is 6.5 percent. Cities in Lawrence County with a one percent sales tax include Walnut Ridge, Hoxie and Black Rock.

The increase was approved by voters in November 2015 and was deemed necessary after the state's Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committee found 11 deficiencies with the county's present 51-year-old jail, which is located within the courthouse.

Progress toward
new jail continues

County Judge Dale Freeman, Sheriff Jeff Yates, County Clerk Tina Stowers and Deputy Sheriff Tony Waldrupe traveled to Little Rock on Thursday to finalize paperwork with Stephen's Inc., the financial service firm handling the bond for the new jail.

The county will be allowed to use its current jail until the new one is complete.

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