Joplin’s Proposition Public Safety nears vote

We’re two weeks away from primary day in Missouri and Kansas. In Joplin, residents will determine the fate of a new tax substantially increasing police and fire salaries. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Monday night at the Joplin city council meeting, co-chair of the committee to rally support for Proposition Public Safety, former Joplin Mayor Mike Siebert, gave his perspective on the upcoming ballot initiative.

“We are 30 percent underpaying our police officers. We have mandatory overtime. We are collapsing departments in order to cover the streets of Joplin. We have a reactionary police force right now.”

If approved by a simple majority, Joplin would assess a tax on all real and personal property, such as homes and automobiles. Currently, the community does not collect this tariff.

For example, residents who own a $150,00 home and a $30,000 car would pay an additional $385.00 annually for increased police and fire salaries and to hire additional staff. Wages of other Joplin city personnel would not be affected by the new collection.

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