After extensive debate, the Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen voted to put a property tax increase of $0.2684 per $100 of assessed valuation on the April 2 ballot.
The increase would go to improving public safety through increasing police department salaries.
The debate over whether the property tax increase, a 1/2-cent sales tax increase or no action at all should be undertaken to address the issue of police salaries took place late in a marathon 2 1/2-hour board meeting last Thursday.
The meeting also including two contentious public hearings, approval of the Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission’s recommendation for amending the district’s boundaries, and a separate debate over sales tax levels.
Police chief Eric Bennett had been urging the aldermen to look into a means of increasing salaries for his department, which he has argued, constantly loses personnel to the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office and to cities in neighboring counties that offer higher pay scales.
About $160,000 in increased budget is needed for the desired salary increases.
See complete story in the January 16 edition of the Herald.