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ELECTION: Bismarck sales tax on ballot

In the Aug. 7 primary election, Bismarck voters are being asked to approve a half-cent sales tax to provide additional funds for the municipality’s general fund.

The money will in part pay for the purchase of new equipment for the police department and provide raises in salaries for officers.

The proposition reads as follows on the ballot:

“Shall the City of Bismarck impose a city sales tax of one-half of one percent (.05%) on the receipts from the sale at retail of all tangible personal property or taxable services at retail, subject to the sales tax imposed by the State of Missouri and on residential utilities?”

The city is holding a public meeting at the depot on Aug. 2 to provide the public information and answer any questions about the proposed sales tax.

According to Mayor Seth Radford, the sales tax will not increase city water, gas or sewer bills. He also noted that everybody traveling through town and spends money buying gas, eating out or purchasing something at a store will be helping to fund the general revenue through the sales tax.

The city says the purpose of the tax is to help provide the police department better equipment, higher salaries for police officers and will also help increase Bismarck’s general revenue.

In an earlier article on the sales tax, Radford said, “The problem is that a lot of times the city of Bismarck might go 15 to 20 years before they’re able to buy a new piece of equipment for the maintenance shed.

“It might be 10 years before we get a police car. The last one we bought was four to five years ago, roughly. That’s because we don’t have the general revenue to do so.”

It’s believed passage of the sales tax will bring in somewhere between $40,000 to $50,000 a year in additional revenue for the city. As purchases increase or decrease in the city, the actual income from the tax could move up or down.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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