Police chief Eric Bennett expressed regret last Thursday during the Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen meeting about any miscommunication regarding Proposition P, a successful April 2 ballot measure that will increase the city property tax to increase police salaries.
Some complaints had been made that it was not clear to voters that personal property taxes — on vehicles, for instance — would be increased in addition to real estate.
Bennett addressed the issue during his regular report to the board.
“I apologize if this information was not made clear enough,” Bennett said. “I promise you and I promise the listening audience that this was in no way an effort to deceive anybody. We tried our best to be open, honest and non-confrontational, and I truly thought we accomplished that.
“Again, we realize that any tax increase is a delicate subject, but an important one.”
He said he and his men “did our best to educate and inform” the public on the proposition.
“This matter was never advertised as anything other than a property tax initiative,” Bennett said.
He also stressed that the tax increases “are in no way” connected to County Assessor Linda Wagner or County Collector Claudia Stuppy.
“I respectfully request that you treat them with respect and realize that they’re not responsible for this increase,” Bennett said. “I sincerely appreciate your support … and I personally apologize to anyone who feels as though I was dishonest in any way. As always, if anybody has any questions or concerns, I’m always available.”
See complete story in the May 1 edition of the Herald.