Jackson County Tax Turkeys

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Jackson County community leaders are taking exception with Florida TaxWatch labeling a number of projects as tax turkeys.

When TaxWatch released its annual turkey list last week, it included six Jackson County budget appropriations. One of those is half-a-million dollars for renovations at the county courthouse in Marianna.

The facility is overcrowded, with some employees setting up shop in the break room and the basement. The county had originally asked for $1 million, but the Legislature cut the request in half.

Despite the overcrowding, TaxWatch is still urging Gov. Jeb Bush to veto the money because he didn't request the project.

Ted Lakey, Jackson County Administrator, says, "Well, I'm surprised because it is a worthy project and we've gotten moneys for the courthouse in the past. For a number of years. We got this kind of funding in the past and a lot of other small county courthouses are on the list to get funding this year."

Jackson County Courthouse: $500,000

Chipola Arts Center: $3,500,000

Sneads Sewer Lift Station: $700,000

Sunland School: $500,000

Graceville Power Supply: $100,000

"Reconnecting Youth:" $62,000

Besides the half a million dollars for the courthouse renovations, TaxWatch is urging Gov. Bush to veto other Jackson County projects, including:

$3.5 million for a new Chipola Performing Arts Building

$700,000 for a new sewer lift station in Sneads

$500,000 for renovations at Marianna's Sunland School for Retarded Citizens

$100,000 to provide an emergency power supply for Graceville

$62,000 for a program called Reconnecting Youth

Gov. Bush is looking over the budget and has the final say on funding for these projects.