Don't squeeze the Charmin, Mr. Whipple.
Des Moines County will consider an idea to charge jail inmates for bathroom tissue to help wipe away a $1.7 million deficit next year.The decision was driven, in part, by a directive to cut costs or face employee furloughs or layoffs.
The county's budget director, Cheryl McVey, said billing inmates for toilet paper could save more than $2,300."We have to find out if it's an allowable expense," she said Thursday.
McVey said she didn't know whether inmates would be charged by the sheet, square or roll. The savings estimate was provided by the maintenance department at the jail.
Curt Braby, the Louisa County sheriff, said he wasn't aware of any counties that have toilet paper fees on the books.
"They've got budget problems, and they're looking for places to cut. But what do you do for the guy who hasn't got the dollar for the toilet paper?"
Florida has upheld a statute taxing inmates user fees for their daily commodities, and in fact most counties, including Broward do charge. So a toilet paper tax may be unconscionable on one hand but legal on the other. If you have to buy your own hygiene products in commissary, why not TP too? It can happen here. After all, it is Broward County.