Use tax, law enforcement tax on April 4 ballot
Parkville citizens will have the opportunity to vote on two ballot initiatives in the Tuesday, April 4 election.
The two issues on the ballot will be a use tax and a law enforcement sales tax.
Proposition U is a use tax placed on goods sold online or out-of-state that the city says would provide dedicated funding for infrastructure and capital improvements.
Proposition P is a half cent sales tax that the city says would provide dedicated funding for public safety initiatives.
“Our job as civic leaders is to ensure Parkville continues to move forward, balancing the city’s budget while continuing to deliver the quality services our citizens desire,” said Parkville Mayor Dean Katerndahl. “However, quite steep inflation, especially for police salaries and public works construction projects, has made it difficult to balance the budget and provide the quality services that are key to keeping Parkville the charming community we all want.
“In addition the city is growing, which adds to the richness of the community, but also requires added investments to maintain what we love about the community,” the mayor added.
Proposition U would create a local use tax, which is a tax imposed on the storage, use or consumption of tangible, personal property. If approved, a local use tax would be applied to goods and services purchased, delivered, and used in Parkville from online and out-of-state vendors.
The city says the local use tax would not increase or change Parkville’s local sales tax – it would only be collected when sales taxes are not collected. Buyers would never pay both a use tax and local sales tax on the same transaction.
City officials say it is estimated the use tax would generate $250,000 -$300,000 per year. These revenues would help provide the required local match to receive federal grants through the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Proposition P would create a citywide half cent increase in the sales tax to be placed on all retail sales made in the City of Parkville.
Due to the large number of visitors to Parkville, the city’s aldermen chose a sales tax rather than a property tax to capture the revenue needed for the city’s public safety improvements.
City officials point out that visitors to Parkville benefit from the services of the city’s police department and a sales tax is a way for visitors to contribute funding to public safety services.
It is estimated the public safety sales tax will generate about $325,000 in the first year due to partial-year collections, and approximately $650,000 annually thereafter, providing the police department with a dedicated funding source to continue to keep the city safe.
“One of the activities our Parkville police officers enjoy most is spending time in the community, interacting with their fellow citizens. But lately, due to an increase in call volume and police staff shortages, our time to engage in relationship building has been reduced and we strongly embrace the community policing philosophy,” said Parkville Chief of Police Kevin Chrisman.
“With the passage of Proposition P, we would have dedicated funds for the two open positions and two new positions added in 2022 for a total of four more police officers, along with efforts toward a satellite location to provide representation across the city,” Chrisman adds.
If both measures are approved, the city has identified a list of projects that will benefit from the revenues generated by the use tax and public safety tax:
•9 Highway/East Street/First Street triangle project
•Improvements to Bell Road including sidewalks to improve pedestrian connectivity
•New satellite police location
•Upgraded police vehicle fleet
•Upgraded, state-of-the art police department equipment to stay current with policing trends
•More competitive salaries and the opportunity to fill four new police officer positions above what is currently on the police department roster.
“I think we can all agree we have something special here in Parkville – the community charm that draws people in from all over the region; our unique local shops, walkable streets and safe neighborhoods,” said Katerndahl. “We’re all pro Parkville – we love where we live.”
The deadline to register to vote in the April 4 election is March 8; those interested can register to vote online through the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.
On April 4, Parkville registered voters can vote from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Parkville Presbyterian Church, 819 Main Street.
For more detailed information about the ballot initiatives, visit www.ProParkville.com.