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

Independence police
Posted at 10:08 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 00:22:00-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — It's round two for a proposed local use tax in Independence.

Voters 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.

Under Proposition P, 50% would go toward more police officers and 50% would go toward the city's new no-kill animal shelter.

"At any given time, we have somewhere between 12 and 15 patrol officers out on the street in a city of 78 square miles and 120,000 residents, and that's woefully inadequate," City Manager Zach Walker said.

The city tried to pass a local use tax last year, but 62% of voters rejected the measure.

Independence resident Johnnetta Bruce was among thoe who voted it against it.

"What will this money be used for?" she remembered worrying last year. "Will it actually be used for what they're saying it's going to be used for?"

This time, she's in support of the measure.

Independence leaders tell 41 Action News that it could hire seven to 10 officers in the first year, if the tax is approved.