On Election Day, voters in Sevier County turned down renewing a sales tax that’s helped fund the jail for more than a decade.
Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry said the quarter of a cent tax brought in about $860,000 to assist with jail operations annually. It had been in place since 2006. Gentry said he will continue to run the 74-bed facility without the added income by making up the funding through grands and other means.
Gentry said he plans to continue to reach out to voters about the need for approving this measure, so voters can make a more educated decision the next time they hit the polls.
“I’ve walked in the voting booth before and something was on the ballot that I didn’t really know anything about. It’s awful hard to push ‘for’ when you really don’t know what you’re pushing the ballot for. So, I think education is probably the key to getting anything passed,” said Gentry.
The sheriff said the jail’s remaining 2018 operating budget will not be impacted by the vote. He said it takes about $1.5 million to run the facility.