CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. — Both the Osage Beach and Sunrise Beach Fire Protection Districts are asking voters to approve funding to pay for wages, staff and equipment on August 2.
Osage Beach Fire Protection District Sales Tax
Voters in Osage Beach will decide whether to approve a 1/2 cent sales tax on August 2. Fire officials said if the tax is approved, it will provide money for the operation of the district and would also lower property taxes.
The lower property tax could happen because Missouri law states that in certain counties if a fire district adds a sales tax and is already receiving funding through property tax, the district is required to return some of the generated revenue back to the taxpayer.
The sales tax would add $1 per $200 of taxable purchases within the district. Right now, property owners are the only source of funding for the Osage Beach Fire Protection District.
The Osage Beach Fire Protection District said the sales tax revenue would fund current operations. This includes staffing two small emergency medical units to keep up with increasing demands for services. If the tax is approved, the money would also replace equipment such as tankers and brush fire trucks.
Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District
The Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District is asking voters to approve a 30-cent general revenue increase on August 2.
The district said the money from this increase would pay for more staff and wage increases. Fire officials said staffing an additional station would help lower the district’s ISO rating, which is a rating given based on how prepared a community is for fires. A lower ISO could lower insurance rates for people in the district.
The extra funding would also allow the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District to increase wages and benefits in order to stay competitive with other departments.