Crawford County voters OK tax hike for new jail - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Crawford County voters OK tax hike for new jail

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VAN BUREN, Ark. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Voters in Crawford County have approved a sales tax increase to pay for a new $20 million jail.

In Tuesday's election, voters approved a half-percent sales tax increase to pay for construction of the jail and a 0.25 percent increase to pay for operations and maintenance. The half-percent tax will expire in 2023, while the smaller tax will be permanent.

According to the Southwest Times Record (http://bit.ly/1m4pt5W ) complete but unofficial results show the measures passed with 51 percent of the vote.

The current 88-bed jail in Van Buren has been on probation after failing multiple state inspections. The new tax will pay for a 270-bed facility on U.S. 64 about one mile east of Interstate 540. Officials say construction will begin in April 2015 with completion planned for 2017.

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