TANEY COUNTY, Mo. — Voters in Taney County approved of two different raises to local taxes on June 2.
The citizens voted in favor of an increase for a countywide sales tax of three-eighths (3/8) of one percent (1%), for a period of 15 years.
This sales tax is meant to provide more law enforcement services for the county. The proposal was approved by a vote of 2,898 to 1,847.
Taney County Sheriff, Jimmie Russell, says he was skeptical of it passing with recent current events.
“I was actually somewhat surprised that it was able to pass.” said Russell. “With the economy the way it is, I know everybody’s hurting. All the situations going on, I knew this was going to be a tough time to even think of one passing, but we appreciate the support of the voters.”
Voters were also in favor of a 9 cent increase in property tax to support the Western Taney County Fire District.
“I had my doubts amongst COVID-19 and now riots going on in the state,” said Fire Chief Chris Berndt. “I was worried that people just wouldn’t have that much confidence and don’t know what the future will bring.
On a $100,000 house, the increase will be $17.10 per year or $1.44 per month. The proposal was approved by a vote of 1,087 to 675.
“In 1990, we paid less than 100,000 dollars for a new firetruck, today we pay over 500,000,” said Berndt. “We have to buy a truck a year, that means the oldest truck then will be twenty-one years old. And people think well twenty-one, it’s not that bad. Well when your house is on fire, you don’t want the twenty-one year old truck showing up to your house.”
Berndt said he really appreciated the voters of Taney County who support him and his staff.
“To get the money is one thing, and it is awesome and that helps us,” said Berndt. “But just the show of support from the people is really awesome.”