Distrust in Joplin city government fuels backlash against Proposition Public Safety

As primary day draws near, Joplin residents are scrutinizing Proposition Public Safety. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Joplin city hall

Currently, for every $4.53 the city collects in property taxes, just 17 cents goes to operating the city of Joplin, including police and fire salaries.

The vast majority of the city’s property taxes, like many other communities, go to supporting public schools. If approved, the amount of property tax would increase by $1.00 for every $100 of assessed value. City officials say that 100% of the increased property tax would go towards public safety. Community activist Abbie Covington is opposed to the proposition and thinks it would burden low-income residents.

“We keep being told it’s only 20 dollars; it’s only going to be this much per month. And it reminds me of the Memorial Hall issue where they said it was going to be the cost of a coffee. Well, we’re talking about people who aren’t buying coffee.”

On Wednesday night, at a meeting held by advocates of the proposition, City Manager Nick Edwards said the city currently doesn’t have a plan B if it doesn’t pass, drawing the ire of residents. Primary day is next Tuesday, August 2.

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