Along with voting for school board members, mayors, and aldermen, voters will also be voting on a 200% retail tax increase in Taney County’s Law Enforcement Sales Tax. The current tax of one-eighth (1/8) of one percent, originally approved by Taney County voters in Nov. 2005, and set to expire on Dec. 31, 2022, will be replaced with a three-eighths (3/8) of one percent tax with no expiration date.
On Feb. 1, 2019, over two weeks after the last statutory date to file to get an issue on the April 2 Election ballot, the Taney County Commission filed a Petition with the Circuit Court of Taney County to remedy its failure to file on time. That Petition, contained an “Order of the County Commission of Taney County, Missouri dated Jan. 31, 2019 (Order),” as Exhibit A. It asked for permission to “make late notification to the local election authority, Donna Neeley, Taney County Clerk” for the Apr. 2 election. After determining that it had authority “to hear and determine the matter,” under 115.125 RSMo, that permission was granted in an Order signed by Judge Jeffrey M. Merrell on that same date.
The Ballot “QUESTION reads:
“Shall Taney County repeal the existing countywide sales tax previously authorized for law enforcement services under § 67.582, RSMo. of one-eighth (1/8) of one percent (1%) and impose a countywide sales tax under § 67.582, RSMo. of three-eighths (3/8) of one percent (1%), for the purpose of providing law enforcement services for the county, including providing funding to support current and future capital improvements, equipment and operations of the Sheriff’s Department and Jail, Prosecuting Attorney’s office, and Juvenile office?
If approved by the voters, it repeals the current retail sales tax of one-eighth (1/8) of one percent (1%); and replaces it with a new tax of three-eighths (3/8) of one percent (1%). This would increase the amount of the tax currently paid on $5,000.00 of applicable retail purchases from $6.50 to $19.50 or 200%. It would also eliminate any “sunshine” or other expiration date for the tax as well as expanding the purposes for which the tax proceeds may be spent.
Brandon Williams, Taney County Western District Commissioner said, “The proposal was placed on the ballot to provide the funding necessary to meet the increasing costs for running the Sheriff’s Department, the jail, and juvenile and prosecutorial services.”
If the tax increase is not approved by the voters on Apr. 2, the Taney County Commission has until Dec. 31. 2022 to get them to either extend or increase the tax.