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Commissioners place public safety sales tax initiative on the ballot

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The county commissioners passed a resolution supporting the public safety sales tax initiative at their May 7 meeting.

Upon approval by the voters of Delta County in November, the initiative would increase Delta County sales tax by 1 percent, with tax dollars dedicated specifically to law enforcement services in Delta County.

The sales tax question has also garnered support from the Delta City Council and Delta County Joint School District #50.

Local law enforcement, the school district, and all six municipalities came together to formulate the split of the additional 1 percent sales tax.

Delta County Sheriff's Office would receive 48 percent of the tax money, which includes the sheriff office's continued service to Crawford and Orchard City. Delta Police Department would receive 31 percent of the revenue, and Cedaredge Police Department, Town of Hotchkiss Marshal's Office and Paonia Police Department would each receive 7 percent from the additional tax money.

The commissioners point out that local law enforcement services are essential to the citizens of Delta County, including all its municipalities.

Calls for law enforcement service, case complexities, court requirements and jail populations continue to increase exponentially.

In presentations being made around the county by Delta County Sheriff Mark Taylor and Delta Police Chief Luke Fedler, they point out that illegal activity, which has increased during 2017, 2018 and continues in 2019, has required greatly increased law enforcement response.

The cases in Delta County that make their way to the district attorney's office have increased 50 percent during this time.

Delta Police Department is handling more cases than Montrose Police Department is handling. Delta County Sheriff's Office is handling 398 felony cases compared to Montrose County's 128 felony cases.

The Delta County Commissioners point out that existing county and municipality budgets are not able to meet the increasing budgetary requirement for local law enforcement services.

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Commissioners, Sales Tax
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