KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Independence voters apparently do like police and pets as the name of a community group organized to support Proposition P suggests.
With all precincts reporting, the city will impose a new local use tax on online purchases. The money will be used to pay for extra police officers and to operate a no-kill animal shelter.
The measure passed with 55.65% of voters signing off on Proposition P, which imposes a 2.25% sales tax on internet-based purchases, according to unofficial results from the Jackson County Election Board.
Voters rejected a similar measure last year, but Independence will get a much-needed boost to its bottom line.
City leaders said the police force is “woefully” understaffed with 12 to 15 officers on patrol in the 78-square-mile town of 120,000 people.
Independence took over operation of the Jackson County Regional Animal Shelter in January, when the Great Plains SPCA ended its five-year agreement after only one year.
The new tax revenue will fill the budget hole that move created.
The use tax will be split 50-50 until the animal shelter is fully funded at $750,000. After that, the funds will go towards new police officers until they are fully funded.
Anything remaining waterfalls into other sales tax areas as regular sales tax revenue would, a representative with the City of Independence explained.
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Voters in Greenwood overwhelmingly passed a ballot question to continue a mutual aid agreement with Lee’s Summit for fire and ambulance service at nearly 92% voting yes.
But voters in Lake Lotawana rejected a property tax levy increase with more than 55% voting against the ballot question.
Lee’s Summit voters also passed a nearly $20 million bond for public safety improvements.