Voters in Lewis County, Missouri, will see a proposed sales tax hike on the April ballot that if approved would increase funding for the Sheriff's Office.
Dubbed "Proposition Public Safety", the proposal calls for increasing the county's current 7.1% sales tax rate by 1/4 of a percent.
Sheriff David Parrish said in a news release Tuesday that the initiative will help the Sheriff's Office in a variety of ways.
"This includes restoring full time jail staff, a school safety initiative, prosecutor services, adding reserve deputies and seeking competitive Sheriff's Office staff compensation," Parrish stated.
Although Parrish said he had not discussed details of the school safety initiative with the Canton R-5 District, the ballot issue did catch the attention of Canton Superintendent of Schools, Andy Anderson, who said extra security at schools is top of mind.
"Obviously, with all the school shootings in the last few years. It just makes it more prominent," said Anderson.
Even with those recent shootings still fresh in their minds, voters still have to be convinced that increased school safety and the other projects listed on the ballot are worth paying more at the cash register.
Lewis County currently has the highest of all Northeast Missouri county tax rates and some residents, like Gene Prieb, don't want to pay more.
"I'd be a little gun shy about saying well since there were 26 people shot in a school wherever it was. All of a sudden, we need protection like that. We've got some pretty good people in the schools that I think they know what they are doing," said Prieb.
Lewis County residents head to the polls on April 2nd. Parrish said he will offer more details in the coming weeks to explain to voters why voting "yes" will benefit the entire county.
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