CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Mo. — The countdown to election day has begun as Missourians are officially one week away from Nov. 8.
Voters in the area have many things to vote on from the state and local levels, as well as a couple of local issues. Christian County will decide on whether to provide police departments with more funding.
Voters in Nixa can vote on whether or not to approve a 1% sales tax to fund a new police station and public facilities.
Over the course of 20 years, Nixa has doubled its size in population. It is a growing city like many others in the Ozarks but what has not been growing is Nixa’s police department, public facilities, and other city facilities.
With this 1% sales tax increase, all of those things could get a huge upgrade.
The Nixa Police Department would get a new police station and hire 11 new police officers, which would cost the city $14 million.
With the sales tax increase, the city would also build a new recreation center and sports complex with a price tag of $25 million.
If voters pass this issue on Nov. 8, this would be the first tax increase in over 35 years.
Just down the road in Ozark, voters can vote on whether to allow the city to impose a local use tax that is the same as the local tax rate — 2.375% — for public safety.
The 2.375% tax would go towards three things that would help out the Ozark Police Department: adding more police officers to the force, adding more police cars, and building a new headquarters.
Ozark police receive applications from applicants who are not from the area but some concerns about the police station are leaving applicants with some doubt.
The lack of space, lockers and overall size of their facility is where the lack of funding is hurting the most.
If voters approve the tax, the money would be separate from the funds the department receives from the general budget.
The tax would not have to be renewed if voters approve it.