Callaway proposing sales tax increase for struggling judicial system

4 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Friday, September 27 2019 Sep 27, 2019 Friday, September 27, 2019 3:19:00 PM CDT September 27, 2019 in News
By: Morgan Riddell, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

FULTON - Callaway County is working to fight overcrowding in its jail and an overcrowded courthouse and the solution could be two half-cent sales tax increases.

The first tax is to fund an increase of the number of deputies on patrol, investigators, corrections officers, assistant prosecutors, and support staff.

The second to fund the capital projects of construction for a new judicial center, and expanding the Callaway County jail. 

Clay Chism, the sheriff for Callaway County, said "should these issues pass it would be a real game changer for not only law enforcement, but the entire criminal justice system here in Callaway County."

Gary Jungermann, the Presiding Commissioner of Callaway County, said these propositions are important for addressing the growing need.

"We've got a judicial system here at the court house, built in 1938, that houses not only the courts but every administrative office within the county," said Jungermann. "Court dockets have grown immensely in 80 years and the issues that we have upstairs are large crowds, but worse than the large crowds and the safety concerns with those large crowds, but actually what I believe is just as bad if not worse is for victims," he said.

Jungermann said there is a huge time constraint on when these victims can finally get to court.

Chism also said his big concern in the courts is that victims are waiting too long to get justice. 

"When these cases drag on, the victims are suffering as well," Chism said. 

Due to a jury trial, they are only able to access one court room currently and the increase of dockets means they are not being seen in a timely manner. 

On Friday, the list of dockets filled a courtroom wall all the way to the ground. 

"We've outgrown our needs," said Jungermann. 

He said this needs to be addressed.

"We need to increase the amount of officers that we have. We have a lot of concerns and a lot of needs even with our jail," he said.

Jungermann said the jail's structural issues are nothing compared to their concerns of overcrowding and under-staffing. 

Chism said overcrowding has become so bad that the county has seen up to 103 inmates at a time, while the ratio is best in the mid 70's. This year the county averaged 80-85 inmates daily. 

 "I've been here in Callaway county 19 years, and just the call load has increased dramatically." Chism said. He added in the last five years that call load has increased 44%.

The sales tax was chosen as a solution due to the amount of visitors seen in Callaway county.

"The county is getting busier, the population is growing and it's not only our population," he said. 

Chism said having three major highways crossing the county bring many arrests from outside. 

"Last year in the Callaway county jail, 37% of the arrested subjects were not Callaway County residents," he said. "So that goes hand in hand with what we are saying about. Yes, we are local law enforcement, but the simple fact is we have a criminal element coming in from outside."

Jungermann said each tax increase will bring in revenue of $1.8 million to $1.9 million per year for the proposals. The full project is estimated to cost $30 million and could take 3-5 years if passed. 

The two proposed sales taxes are going to be appearing on the November 5th ballot.

More News

Grid
List
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Bernie Sanders faced a torrent of attacks Tuesday night during a raucous debate that tested the Democratic... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:20:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One group of former service men and women is making a difference across the state providing help... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:10:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - New technology installed by Ameren could provide more responsive service if severe weather comes to Jefferson City.... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 6:45:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia neighborhood watch is still relevant despite social media and sites like Nextdoor. Neighborhood watch programs encourage... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:51:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe today filed to run for election in 2020. Kehoe has served as... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:12:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia Public Works plow crews are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, to prepare for possible... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 4:54:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY— Tuesday at the Missouri State Capitol, representatives heard testimony from people in regards to a house bill that... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 3:25:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson and Auditor Nicole Galloway filed to run for governor on Tuesday. It was... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 2:26:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA -- The Civil Rights Movement was a time of racially charged protests and marches. Some activists took to the... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 2:10:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri joined 38 other states in an investigation into Juul Labs on Tuesday. Those states are looking into... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 1:59:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College announced Tuesday it is laying off 49 employees across the nation, including 25 at its Columbia... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 12:59:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- An announcement from Bishop Shawn McKnight at Father Tolton today revealed the school's $6.2 million-dollar debt will be completely... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 11:46:00 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri joined a bipartisan, multistate investigation of JUUL Labs on Tuesday, according to Missouri Attorney General Eric... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 11:33:00 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Snuggling next to my kitties while their furry chests softly rumble is a proven antidote to the day's... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 9:16:39 AM CST February 25, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man connected to a deadly shooting during a home invasion in Columbia in early February.... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:17:28 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
FULTON - Three people were arrested in Fulton Tuesday morning after one person fled from a traffic stop. A... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:03:00 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In the state of Missouri, incarcerated or formerly incarcerated residents are unable to vote. There is... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 9:42:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - When snow falls in mid-Missouri, the sounds of shovels scraping across the driveway mean freedom to Larry Shinn.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 9:33:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in Continuous News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 30°
8am 31°
9am 32°
10am 33°
11am 34°