Kansas City, Mo., residents can expect to be asked to renew a sales tax in August. But meeting fire department needs may take more than that.
The quarter-cent sales tax created 14 years ago currently funds less than 14 percent of the fire department's $145 million budget. Personnel costs account for 90 percent of that budget.
City Finance Director Randall Landes says renewing the tax is essential, but even with the renewal the department won't be able to replace aging fire stations and equipment.
“We mostly spent the money in the early years for equipment and facilities, and as the budget has marched on over time and gotten tighter, the equipment part of this has evaporated,” Landes said.
The council will consider whether to add a general obligation bond issue to cover the capital improvement expenses and whether to also send that to the voters in August.
Landes said the bonds, if issued, would be paid off from property taxes.