Former councilman pushes fire department sales tax proposal

Asst. Chief Lonnie Brandt sports a T-shirt with the “Vote Yes on Prop 2” as citizens committee member Dr. Bryan Pope talks about the plans to inform the community of the proposed tax increase involved in Proposition 2.

Asst. Chief Lonnie Brandt sports a T-shirt with the “Vote Yes on Prop 2” as citizens committee member Dr. Bryan Pope talks about the plans to inform the community of the proposed tax increase involved in Proposition 2. Photo by Julie Smith.

A former city councilman returned to City Hall on Monday to endorse the dedicated one-fourth-cent sales tax being proposed by the Jefferson City Fire Department.

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At the City Council meeting, former 1st Ward Councilman Mike Harvey made a presentation on the proposal as the co-chair of Citizens for a Safer Community, which officially kicked off their campaign Monday.

The Fire Department proposal would replace a 9.61-cent property tax with a one-fourth-cent sales tax that would sunset in 15 years. The tax, if approved on the Aug. 7 ballot, is projected to raise more than $41 million and pay for expenses in seven categories, including EMS training, equipment upgrades, station replacements and added staffing costs.

Harvey said when he first came on the City Council in April 2004, one of the first invitations he received was to tour the various fire stations throughout the city.

“It was evident then, as it is evident now, that there’s some changes that need to be made,” Harvey said. “You just can’t keep re-band-aiding a problem, it’s time to move forward.”

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