INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Independence resident Tim Watkins hate taxes, especially new ones in a down economy. Still, he supports a proposal by the Independence Police Dept. to add a property tax increase to the April ballot. He was the only civilian to discuss the matter at Monday night's Independence City Council meeting.
"I see it as an investment in the future of the community," said Watkins, who lives in Independence. "We have a police dept. that is seriously deficient as far as man power."
Independence Police Chief Tom Daily said violent crime - including robberies, homicides and drive by shootings - is on the rise in Independence.
"While we believe Independence is still a safe place to live, we believe that crime trends are moving upwards," said the Chief. "We need additional resources to reverse those trends."
Dailey said increasing the real estate tax by $0.36 per $100 of assessed valuation would generate about $3.7 milion a year. In turn, the police department could hire 34 new officers and eight civilian positions while also getting new technology and increasing officers within its specialized units.
"We know we can reverse crime in Independence because we do it," said Dailey. "We have had success. We don't have the resources to sustain that success."
The Independence City Council will meet Monday, Dec. 12 at 6:00 p.m. to decide if this measure should go on the April 3, 2012 ballot. If it does, it'll be in the public hands when they cast their votes.
To get your voice heard, contact Independence City Council members here.
If the tax (which is $0.3629, to be exact) becomes a reality, homeowners could expect to pay an addition $68.95 per year for every $100,000 their home is worth. That rounds out to $5.75 per month. For businesses it would be about $117, or $9.75 per month, for every $100,000.
Additionally, Independence would still have some of the lowest property taxes in the metro. The 2010 real estate tax levy comparisons per $100,000 of assessed valuation are as follows.
- Raytown - $9.2116
- Lee's Summit - $8.9031
- Blue Springs - $ 8.8267
- Kansas City - $7.9818
- Independence (proposed) - $7.8442
- Independence (current) - $7.4813