E. Ky. county increases tax to balance budget

MCKEE, Ky. (AP) - An eastern Kentucky county has increased its occupational tax in an effort to shore up its deficit and balance its budget.

Despite pleas from citizens to not pass the tax, Jackson County Judge-Executive William O. Smith said something had to be done - and cuts in spending weren't enough. WYMT-TV (http://bit.ly/XmkDoC) reports that Smith says the sheriff's department owes the Fiscal Court nearly $300,000; in addition, the county is now paying for a new police department and coal severance funds have decreased by more than 50 percent in the past year.

County officials voted 2-1 on Tuesday to pass the .85 percent tax, which will be added to the 1 percent tax that citizens already pay. The new tax goes into effect on Nov. 1.

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