Independence (MO) will ask voters to quadruple the existing sales tax for municipal fire service during the November 2 election, reports kshb.com.
City officials say a one-eighth-cent Fire Protection Sales Tax—scheduled to sunset on Dec. 31, 2026, the report says—currently generates approximately $2.1 million annually for the Independence Fire Department. Officials have proposed replacing that with a half-cent sales tax sans sunset provision.
A half-cent tax is the largest allowed by Missouri state law. And, if passed, the tax would generate $8.4 million annually. It would take effect April 1, 2022, if passed.
The additional funds would be used to replace five fire stations, construct one new station, replace aging fire trucks and purchase new ones, purchase additional equipment, and pay for ongoing maintenance needs, the report says. The money also would be used to fully staff the department, bolster the department’s administrative ranks, and address training and technology needs.
Seven of the department’s 10 stations are more than 30 years old, according to city officials.