Recently, members of the Clay County Council have told The Brazil Times the new Justice Center could be paid off earlier than expected.
Clay County entered into a lease/bond agreement with First Financial Bank in 2005. Right now, First Financial Bank owns the Clay County Justice Center until it is paid off. The county makes bond payments twice a year.
However, because the county is bringing in enough money, it could possibly pay the jail off earlier than expected.
The council set up a County Adjusted Gross Income Tax (CAGIT) to receive money to pay off the center. CAGIT is a tax that comes out of every county resident's paycheck.
CAGIT takes out 2.25 percent of incomes total.
Most of the percentage goes toward property tax relief, but .25 percent goes toward the jail bond. When the jail bonds are paid off, whether it takes 30 years or not, the quarter of a percent will be taken off the CAGIT.
Through the .25 percent of the CAGIT fund, the county is receiving an average of nearly $80,000 a month.
That equals an average of $960,000 a year the county is receiving, which leaves around $160,000 of extra money after the $800,000 payment is made.
The extra money is not allowed to go toward anything except the jail. The extra money goes into a CAGIT Rainy Day Fund.
The fund was set up in case, for whatever reason, the county doesn't take in enough money to make the payments. If that would happen one year, the county could use the money from the Rainy Day Fund.
As of right now, the county is making all of its payments while still having money leftover for the Rainy Day Fund, meaning the county could potentially pay the jail off earlier than expected.
"Members of the council are hopeful that the county will continue to grow," County Council President Mike McCullough said, "and that in reality, the new jail will be able to be paid off ahead of schedule and the extra quarter percent of the county's income tax will be able to be taken off."
The county is currently being paid to house state and federal inmates. However, those funds go into the county general fund, which helps support the cost of operating the jail but do not help to pay for the structure itself.
The county is paid $1 per day for state inmates and $45 per day for federal inmates. Because those funds go into the county general fund, most of the money still goes back into paying for the jail's operations such as meals, medical expenses and supplies.
"What we bring in (from housing inmates) can't fully cover those costs," Sheriff Mike Heaton said.
The rest of the expenses are covered by taxes, he added.
The Justice Center can hold a maximum population of 170 inmates. On average, the daily population is between 100-115, but this number fluctuates every day.
The jail holds an average of 10-15 federal inmates per month and an average of 20 state inmates per month.