Southeast Kansas resident will head to the polls - KOAM TV 7

Southeast Kansas resident will head to the polls

A special election will be held in Pittsburg Tuesday to determine whether the city will add a half cent to the city's sales tax.

 "We are number one on the Kansas crime statistics list and we've been on the top of the list for 4 or 5 years," said City Manager Daron Hall. 

In June, Hall presented a half-cent sales tax to city commissioners to fund additional police and resources for the city's fire department. 

"There's no popular solutions nobody wants to do a tax. I don't want to do a tax, but we need to take care of ourselves," said Hall. 

The half-cent sales tax is projected to generate up to $1.8 million a year. 
Although some citizens believe there are other options. 

"Well now it's a crisis (crime) and we got to solve a crisis in some way, but I just think this is the wrong way," said Steve Robb. 

Robb would rather see the tax assessed to property owners like him. 

"I just feel like the sales tax is wrong if were talking about protecting property that should be paid for by property owners," said Robb.  

"As a past commissioner we have talked about this many of times so I am not surprised at all to see it come forward at this time. Cities all over are struggling with this solution," said Past Commissioner and Mayor Marty Beezley. 

The current tax rate for the city is 8.4% if approved the city's sales tax would rise to 8.9%.

"We want to be safe in our home we want our police department to get on top of this drug situation. When there's a fire at a home you're not thinking about the nickel your thinking, I hope they have the best equipment to keep me and my family safe," said Beezley. 

"It the answer is no I don't think they should take that as we don't want you to have anything that's the citizens saying we want you to look at other options," said Robb.
The tax will begin if approved in January of 2014. The tax will sunset in ten years. 

Parsons, Kansas voters will also decide on increasing the sales tax in their city. Tomorrow residents will vote on whether or not to raise sales tax one half of a percent bringing it to 8.9%If approved, the money would fund fire department renovations and equipment.

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