Proposition B basics for election day

Every day, Joplin Firefighters and Police put their lives on the line to serve and protect their community. When voters head to the polls today, they’ll have to decide how much they’re willing to invest in Joplin’s finest. They’ll be asked to fund emergency worker pensions.

Chief Ferguson: : Either way, the tax payers are paying for it. Whether they’re long-term paying for it, or they’re squeezing it down to that two year time frame, it’s gotta be paid for, and Prop B does that.

Prop B proposes a bump in Joplin Sales Tax in order to close out the city’s Police and Fire Pension Fund; the fund has been around since the 1980’s. The tax would be raised on-half-of-one-percent for either a 12 year span or until 120% of the funding is reached.

Mayor Shaw: So basically what this does is this will just close out the old program, it’ll fully fund it, and we’ll take all those that want to in Tier Two into the new program, and then all of the new hires will join the new program.

Police and Firefighters hired in 2009 or later would have the opportunity to be part of the statewide plan. Proponents say this is a tool not only for recruitment, but for retention.

Chief Ferguson: As firefighters continue to go on calls over a career, you start building a roledex in your mind.

Experience that Ferguson says can take years to build.

Chief Ferguson: So if you have guys that keep leaving in that three to five year period you can’t build that roledex because you’re constantly on the front end of that.