Carl Junction officials propose half cent safety tax

An Out Of Service Carl Junction Police Vehicle

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. – Tax increases are rarely popular, but city officials in Carl Junction, Missouri are hoping residents will take one for the team, specifically the police department.

“We’re at a point where it’s getting more expensive to keep the police department staffed and supplied,” said Chief Delmar Haase.

City hall is putting a half-cent public safety sales tax on the November ballot that’s estimated to bring in around $150,000 a year. If passed, the funds will go towards solving two issues the police department is currently dealing with.

“This year we identified two police cars that needed to be replaced. The city was only able to replace one of them,” said Chief Haase.

The extra funding would also go towards hiring quality police officers.

“We’re falling farther and farther behind on competing for good quality candidates. We have an opening. I haven’t been able to fill it with the type of quality the city deserves. And both of the candidates I offered a job to went to an agency that pays a little more money,” said Chief Haase.

Carl Junction’s city administrator says a quality police force will not only keep residents safe, but also attract new people and new businesses.

“You know, if you have well trained and good police officers, they’re going to be able to help the citizens better. They’re going to be more interactive with them. They’re going to be better understood, and they’re going to be more approachable too,” said City Administrator Steve Lawver.

If passed, the public safety sales tax will increase Carl Junction’s overall sales tax from 7.95% to 8.45%.

The chief and the city administrator don’t have crystal balls, but they’re optimistic about the safety tax’s chances.