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A last look at sales tax increase proposals for Tuesday's ballot

A 1/2 cent city sale tax increase would go toward St. Joseph Parks and Recreation projects. Another 1/4 cent sales tax increase would go toward the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department.

Posted: Aug 2, 2021 10:56 PM
Updated: Aug 3, 2021 10:16 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- It is not expected to be a big turnout at the polls on Tuesday, but there are a couple of important tax items that will be on area ballots.

First, in St. Joseph, the 1/2 cent sales tax is dedicated to the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

A committee of volunteers came up with a list of $50 million worth of projects that would be funded should it pass.

Included are plans for renovations to the Missouri Theater, Phil Welch Stadium, the Civic Arena, the Aquatics Center and other facilities.

The tax would be allowed to expire after ten years.

Next, Buchanan County voters will determine the fate of another sales tax increase. This one would be a 1/4 cent increase dedicated to the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department

Sheriff Bill Puett said the collected revenues would go toward funding extra staffing such as new drug investigators, patrol deputies and other crime investigators.

Puett has said his department is already short-staffed and adds he is worried that if the tax increase doesn't pass on Tuesday, their situation could get worse.

 "We're already 24 short and I think we've got some folks hanging on waiting to see what's going to happen. I'm really concerned if this doesn't pass that we'll have some more resignations and people going to other places," Puett said.

Puett also noted that the public safety tax voters passed two years ago was for St. Joseph police and fire and not for the sheriff's department.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Warm and breezy conditions continued today with highs making a run for the 90s. Winds will be a bit breezy at times with gusts up to 20 mph. Slightly cooler weather will start to push into the area on Wednesday with highs in the mid 80s. Most of the day will be dry, but a few isolated showers will be possible Wednesday afternoon into the evening. Rain chances will start to ramp up on Thursday with highs in the upper 70s. Scattered rain chances will continue on Friday through the weekend as highs remain in the 70s.
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