City of Kennett asking voters to approve sales tax increase

(Source: KFVS 12)
(Source: KFVS 12)

KENNETT, MO (KFVS) - When voters in Kennett head to the polls Tuesday, November 8, they will have a chance to decide on a new sales tax proposal.

City officials say the one-cent sales tax increase will go toward maintaining and operating public safety departments.

"It's basically to continue the level of service that we currently provide our citizens and visitors throughout the city," Kennett Public Safety Director John Mallott said.

Mallott said over the last three years city projections of sales tax revenue has fallen $200,000 short.

Money that was slated for emergency response and a laundry list of applications including necessary equipment upgrades and replacement.

"We have fire apparatus that has to be replaced," he said. "We've got outdoor warning sirens that are 30 years old and need to be replaced."

One of the major costs the city said it will face in the near future is tearing down and rebuilding Fire Station No. 2

They say the building, which was erected in the 1960s, is now structurally unsound. The project to replace it will cost an estimated $1.75 million.

"[The outer] wall is now separating and breaking apart the whole foundation," Mallott said.

Mallott said city officials expect the tax would bring in an additional $1.5 million to city revenue annually.

Money, he said, public safety will have a hard time doing without.

"When we sat down it was what do we see down the road that is either going to have maintenance to maintain it or replace it."

City officials say if it passes revenue from that tax will also go toward overhauling first responders pay scales, they say, in an effort to attract high quality employees from around the area.

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