The new resolutions would also limit the length of the tax to 10 years, rather than the previously proposed permanent tax.

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AKRON -- Summit County Executive Russ Pry, Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry and Summit County Council President Ilene Shapiro announced their plan to rescind two County Council resolutions adopted in June that would have placed on the November ballot an additional 0.25% sales and use tax to fund County public safety and capital needs as well as a new arena in downtown Akron.

Instead, at the upcoming August 4, 2014 Council meeting, these officials will ask County Council to adopt more limited resolutions that will eliminate funding for the arena and instead put the additional 0.25% sales and use tax on the ballot for public safety, criminal justice and capital needs.

The new resolutions would also limit the length of the tax to 10 years, rather than the previously proposed permanent tax.

"Since the adoption of the previous resolutions, the public has informed us that there is not sufficient support among the voters to pass a sales tax issue that includes the arena. As a result, we feel it is best to remove the arena project from this issue and instead focus solely on the County's public safety and capital needs," said County Executive Pry.

"My office, the Sheriff and the County Council have always placed the public's safety as our top priority – and that priority is driving our decision today."

Under the newly proposed resolutions, the additional 0.25% sales and use tax would generate an estimated $227 million over the ten year period. Of that, $102.5 million will go to fund the operation and maintenance of the County Jail – an amount that should be sufficient to fund shortfalls at the Jail for the next 20 years.

An estimated $68 million will be set aside for replacing the County's 800 MHz emergency radio system, upgrading and consolidating the County's 9-1-1 dispatch system and County-owned facility repairs, maintenance and improvements.

The balance of $57 million will go to the County's general fund, of which, 70% is spent on public safety and criminal justice functions of the County. All told, of the funds raised under the new proposal, 92.5% will go to public safety, criminal justice and capital needs, while only 7.5% will go to general government administration.

"This issue is critical to the operation of my office, the Summit County Jail, the safety of my deputies and the safety of everyone in our County," said Sheriff Steve Barry. "This additional tax is expected to provide needed funding for the jail for the next two decades and fund the emergency communications systems that every resident of this County relies upon in an emergency."

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