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Public Safety Sales Tax on Ballot Again

Henry County

For the fourth time, residents of Henry County will be asked to help the Sheriff's Department. The public safety sales tax referendum is on the ballot for next Tuesday's election.

Sheriff Kerry Loncka says the half-cent sales tax, or one-half of one per cent, would take some of the burden for supporting law enforcement away from just property owners in the county.

"This way everyone is paying in and it's a minimal amount. It hits everybody - people that travel through our county, it would hit the people who are the renters who don't own property, everyone in the county would be paying in on it. "
Loncka says the need is obvious - during the last ten years, the Sheriff's department has had to eliminate 11 positions. 

"There a lot of times at night when there are only two patrol officers working for 827 square miles. So you can imagine response times can be 30 minutes if they're not in the area of where an incident happens for someone to get there."

And most nights at the jail in Cambridge, he only has 3 guards for up to 100 inmates.

The sheriff says the half cent sales tax would raise an estimated 1.4 million dollars per year.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.