On Monday night the Joplin city council approved a ballot measure that allows residents to decide whether they want to impose a general property tax at the rate of one dollar per $100 of assessed property value. Currently Joplin does not collect this tax.
The council on an 8 to 1 vote approved Proposition Public Safety in an effort to increase the salaries of police and fire staff. The lone no vote was Zone Four councilmember Mark Farnham who spoke about the difficulty of choosing sides.
“I couldn’t have imagined an issue so vehemently supported by some in the citizenry and also others in the citizenry so much against it that they just can’t stand it.”
Two of the three council members including Mark Farnham who won election to the Joplin city council last month ran on a platform that included increasing police and fire pay.
If passed, city officials estimate the new tax will generate $9 million in new revenue to increase public safety pay and hire new personnel. Election day for Proposition Public Safety is Tuesday August 2.