Five days before Joplin residents cast their ballots on whether to increase taxes to hire new police and fire staff, the citizens’ group behind the proposition is trying to spread their message. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.
In a series of Facebook Live videos this week, Joplin Fire and Police staff are making their case why an additional 9 million dollars of tax revenue is needed to provide a one-time raise of between $10,000 for beat cops to nearly $27,000 for Joplin’s Chief of Police.
If approved, Proposition Public Safety would create a personal and property tax in Joplin that the cty currently doesn’t collect. Fire Chief Adam Grimes answered a question of why the city doesn’t increase sales tax for police and fire raises.
“A lot of questions about our sales tax, why not a sales tax? The main reason is that we’re maxed out. The city cannot impose another sales tax without going through the legislature and changing at the state level, which would require a year or more probably.”
Earlier this year, a salary study showed that Joplin was competitive with neighboring communities but struggled to pay competing wages to most employees compared to larger cities like Springfield, Branson, and Bentonville, Arkansas.