Neosho council to discuss pay increases for police, fire, during budget work session

City council holds first budget work session for 2021 fiscal year.

NOESHO, Mo. – Figuring out a city budget can be hard in any given year, but this year might be a little more tricky for the city of Neosho.

“We’ve obviously gotta continue our operations at some level. That level is gonna be, you know, determined on sales tax receipts and things like that that come in. And that’s what we’ve really gotta monitor,” says Neosho City Manager David Kennedy. 

Since January, the city has had three months where sales tax revenue — from the one-percent city sales tax — has been less than the monthly budget.

In May and June, tax revenues exceeded the monthly budget, but the city doesn’t know what the rest of the fiscal year, or next, will bring.

You know, next [fiscal] year we’re just really gonna have to, before we implement projects or things like that, we’re gonna have to watch sales tax and things like that to make sure that we can make sure to continue with them,” says Kennedy. 

But police and fire could end up seeing pay increases.

It’s probably gonna be around ten percent is what I’m gonna request across the board,” says Neosho Police Chief Jason Baird. 

That’s something that he can request because of a new half-cent public safety sales tax that voters approved on June 2nd.

Kennedy says it would cost around 250-thousand dollars to get them to that pay scale.

“Year after that, it won’t be as large of an increase because we’ve already made that jump,” explains Kennedy.

“It will get our patrolman up fairly close to everybody else, which will, will in recruiting and retention.  That was our main goal,” says Baird. “The community came out for us, and all the officers are just ecstatic that they’ve got the support that they do.”

Kennedy says that no decisions about the budget will be made until each department head has presented their budget proposals to the city council.

The overall budget won’t be approved until closer to September.