1-CENT GENERAL SALES TAX INITIATIVE

GROW FORWARD B
Final Penny- February 11-B
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On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, voters in Republic are being asked whether the City should institute a 1-cent sales tax to pay for a variety of initiatives in our vibrant, growing community.  

Got questions or comments about the upcoming tax initiative? Then, join us this Tuesday, February 28, for our second Growing Forward Together open house event! City staff and leadership will be on hand to personally chat with you about the one-cent proposal appearing on your April ballot. The event starts at 6:00 p.m. at Fire Station #1 on U.S. 60. An additional meeting is planned for Saturday, March 30, at the RepMo Expo.

The following is a message from David Cameron, City Administrator:

On April 2, 2019, you will be asked to make a decision about the future of our vibrant, growing community.    The last time City voters approved a sales tax for general operations was in 1981. That revenue currently funds vital operations such as police, fire, streets, and other municipal services.  However, over the past 38 years, our community has quadrupled in both population and land size.  While the revenue has increased with the growth of the City, it has not allowed us to keep up with the increasing needs adequately.   

When it comes to collecting revenue, two significant issues set us apart from most neighboring cities.  First, Republic does not collect personal property taxes to fund local government.  Secondly, the City does not collect a fire protection district tax to fund fire services.  If the City of Republic were to collect these fees as most other cities in our area do, it would generate an additional $3-million per year.   On Tuesday, April 2, voters will be asked if the City of Republic should implement a one-cent sales tax. If approved, the initiative would allow us to better serve you by generating approximately $2.7-million per year.  This proposed funding mechanism would spread the share among everyone who shops and uses the services the City provides- not just the citizens who live here.  The revenue would let us focus on several critical areas of need:

• Public Safety. We are currently short ten firefighters and nine police officers to adequately staff shifts. It would also allow us to address our pay and retirement disparity. We have the lowest paid public safety personnel in our area for communities of similar size.

• Street Improvements.  The City is facing growing traffic concerns. Our side streets need attention, and we have several congested intersections that require upgrades to handle the traffic. The City has over 400 lane miles to manage and maintain on a streets budget of only $200,000.  This proposed tax would generate an additional $400,000 that would be dedicated to projects such as improvements to the U.S. 60 and Hwy. 174 intersection.

• City Hall.  Portions of our current city government complex date back to 1888- a mere nine years after our town was founded.  A recent study shows that the current City Hall, Public Works, and Community Development buildings need more than $750,000 to bring our facilities up to code. Last summer, we were faced with evacuating several facilities to address environmental concerns.  Furthermore, we have run out of space.  The current complex was designed to serve a community of fewer than 5,000 people; in 2019 we are approaching an estimated 17,000.  

Admittedly, there is never a good time to ask for additional money to fund the services we provide. Understandably, you may have questions as to why it’s my position that we have an obligation to make you aware of the need, and how it impacts you and your family.  To provide additional information regarding the sales tax initiative, we have scheduled town hall meetings to address your questions and take your comments.  You’ll find a list of those events below.  We hope to see you then!   

Sincerely, 

David Cameron,

City Administrator


This message paid for by City of Republic, Missouri, David Cameron, City Administrator, 213 N. Main Ave., Republic, Missouri, 65738