Yreka, Calif. –A measure on the Siskiyou County primary ballot next week would help the Sheriff’s Office fund a new jail– a facility that staff noted is badly needed. Measure S would increase county-wide sales taxes by half a percent, to help fund the new jail.
Resident John Timm said it’s an issue that isn’t new for the county.
“We have such a huge incarceration problem,” Timm said. “I prefer work programs myself, let people earn their way back into the good graces of society.”
That’s a route that Allison Giannini, a correctional deputy and programs coordinator at the jail agrees with, but she said sometimes, it’s not enough.
“The fact that people aren’t having to do their time, or think that they can just get out of it, all it does in increase crime,” Giannini said.
That’s where she said Measure S came from. On the primary ballot next week, it would fund a new jail for the county, opening up an additional 76 beds. The half a percent sales tax increase would go into effect immediately.
While the state of California has already given the county $27 million for the project, Siskiyou County needs $9 million more to complete it. Giannini says Measure S would do just that.
“We’re taking out a loan, and the tax is collateral on the loan, and so as soon as the loan is paid, the tax ends,” Giannini said.
Giannini estimates that could happen within 4 to 5 years. This is a county-wide tax, residents can vote on June 7.