Baxter Co. faces shortfall after voters reject tax

MOUNTAIN HOME (AP) - Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery says layoffs are possible after voters rejected a quarter-cent sales tax that would have funded county law enforcement.

The tax would have raised $1.4 million annually, but voters overwhelmingly rejected it on Tuesday.

The sheriff tells The Baxter Bulletin that the jail has spent more than the county budgeted each year since 2009. Montgomery says the office used 2011 funds to make up for the 2010 budget shortfall.

He says the county can't keep "robbing Peter to pay Paul." Montgomery estimates the shortfall at $125,000 for this year.

The sheriff says layoffs are likely unless the Baxter County Quorum Court votes in December to increase the county millage rate.

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