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Independence makes final push for local use tax to fund police, animal shelter

Credit: 41 Action News
Published on July 31, 2019 - Duration: 01:36s

Independence makes final push for local use tax to fund police, animal shelter

Voters in Independence will decide Aug.

6 whether to pay a 2.25% sales tax for online purchases, which city leaders estimate that would generate $1.3 million a year for more police and a no-kill animal shelter.

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Independence makes final push for local use tax to fund police, animal shelter

TIE UP A POLICE FORCECITY LEADERS SAY ISALREADY STRETCHEDTHIN.NEXT WEEK -- VOTERSWILL DECIDE ON ANONLINE SALES TAX THATCOULD HELP.41 ACTION NEWSREPORTER DIA WALL ISLIVE IN INDEPENDENCE TOEXPLAIN.DIA?IT'S CALLED A LOCAL USETAX.BASICALLY -- CITIZENS ININDEPENDENCE AREVOTING ON WHETHER TOPAY JUST OVER TWOPERCENT IN SALES TAXWHEN THEY SHOP ONLINE.AND IN TURN -- PUT MOREPOLICE OFFICERS ON THESTREET.WHEN SIRENS SOUND ININDEPENDENCE......POLICE SAY THEY'RESCRAMBLING TO RESPOND.John SymeIndependence Police Department"It was a very quick responsetime, fortunately.

For this timeof day that's pretty rare withthe low amount of officers wehave."Zach WalkerIndependence City Manager"At any given time, we havesomewhere between 12 and15 patrol officers out on thestreet."THAT'S A SHOCK TOPEOPLE WE TALKED TO.Johnnetta BruceLives in Independence"What if somebody is dying, orsomeone's being held atgunpoint and the policeofficers are at anotheremergency?"FOR A CITY THAT'S CLOSETO 80 SQUARE MILES --WITH 120-THOUSANDPEOPLE -- OFFICIALS WANTMORE.Zach WalkerIndependence City Manager"We already have a sales taxthat funds police equipment,but it does not support policepersonnel."SO -- INDEPENDENCEVOTERS WILL DECIDE ON ALOCAL USE TAX.IT WOULD APPLY TWO-POINT-TWO-FIVE PERCENTIN SALES TAX ON ONLINEORDERS,THE CITY BELIEVES THATWOULD GENERATE ONE-POINT-THREE MILLIONDOLLARS A YEAR.HALF OF IT -- WOULDSUPPORT MORE POLICEOFFICERS.Zach WalkerIndependence City Manager"We think we can getsomewhere between 7 to 10officers in that first year."Johnnetta BruceLives in Independence"If we had a bigger policeforce here, I'm sure it wouldbe a better secured place.""I think it's worth it."CITY LEADERS HOPE MOREVOTERS AGREE.Zach WalkeIndependence City Manager"It would be a game changerfor us."CRITICS ARGUE TH

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