Voters in St. Clair County will be asked to raise the sales tax to pay for an expansion of the overcrowded jail. The board this week approved placing a referendum on the spring ballot asking for a quarter-of-a-percent hike in the sales tax to fund the 37-million-dollar renovation of the jail, which has been the subject of several lawsuits.
The jail routinely holds more than 450 detainees, although it only has space for 418. The expansion would add nearly 200 new beds. Madison County voters will also decide if the county should spend money on making upgrades to the jail here, but residents had to petition the board to force a public vote on the issue.