With just more than one month before the election, the Jefferson City Fire Department officially has started campaigning for a dedicated one-fourth-cent sales tax.
Citizens for a Safer Community, the committee endorsing the sales tax initiative, kicked off the campaign Monday at Fire Station No. 1, along with members of the City Council, city staff, Mayor Eric Struemph and off-duty firefighters and their families.
The sales tax proposal would reduce city property taxes by 17 percent, eliminating a 9.61-cent contribution to the Fireman's Pension Fund, and replace the funding mechanism with a one-fourth cent sales tax that would sunset in 15 years. The Fire Department has shown the funds would pay for expenses in seven categories.
The categories include fire suppression and emergency equipment, firefighting and EMS training, apparatus lease/vehicle replacement, property tax replacement, station replacements and renovation, operational projects and improvements. Another category also provides for future fire staffing, adding three new firefighters, three new fire drivers and three new captains beginning in 2021.
If approved, the tax is projected to raise more than $41 million in the 15-year period.