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3/13/2018 8:19:00 PM
Tippecanoe County Council discussing public safety tax because of opioid crisis
Kyle Gilbert describes his encounters with people who have abused the prescription pain reliever Fentanyl Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service at St. Elizabeth Central. Tippecanoe County is exploring a tax to hire more staff to address public safety needs primarily stemming from the opioid crisis. Staff file photo by John Terhune
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Kyle Gilbert describes his encounters with people who have abused the prescription pain reliever Fentanyl Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service at St. Elizabeth Central. Tippecanoe County is exploring a tax to hire more staff to address public safety needs primarily stemming from the opioid crisis. Staff file photo by John Terhune


Jeong Park, Journal and Courier Reporter

LAFAYETTE — The opioid crisis is taking a toll on Tippecanoe County's budget and the county's residents may have to pitch in soon.

Tippecanoe County Council on Tuesday discussed a potential new income tax of 0.1  percent to address public safety needs primarily stemming from the opioid crisis. 

"We find a heck of a need," said Greg Guerrettaz, the county's financial adviser.

The county has had to hire more sheriff's deputies and correctional officers. It is also looking into expanding its jail as it reaches near capacity.

The county hired 13 public defenders last year and expects to hire several more to address increases in court cases due to the opioid crisis, commissioner David Byers said. The county may also have to create an additional Superior Court. 

"You can only do so much," Byers said. 

Related Links:
• Journal and Courier full text

Related Stories:
• West Central Indiana Drug Symposium speakers: State's opioid problem real and large
• Southern Indiana leaders welcome national focus on opioid epidemic

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