Osage Beach Fire Protection District seeking public input on tax issue

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 4:00 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2022 at 4:31 PM CDT
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OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (KY3) - Osage Beach Fire Protection District is asking the public to help them figure out what kind of tax should be on the ballot to get the district more money.

“We wanted to get some input from the public on our plans for our emergency services in the future,” said Fire Chief Paul Berardi.

In 2021, the agency found out it would be losing some money due to a lawsuit in Lincoln County.

”We lost three cents due to a statewide lawsuit. We were notified last year, but it has affected us for the last two years. We really need additional revenue to continue providing the level of service that we do,” said Chief Berardi.

The district wants residents to input what kind of support they can provide.

”There are two methods that we can use to increase revenue. One has a property tax, which is what we are 100% funded, currently, and then a sales tax is also a possibility,” said Chief Berardi.

In a survey, most say they will not support a property tax. Instead, many would support a sales tax.

“If we were to do a sales tax, then that would reduce the amount of property tax obligation for the residents of our fire district. Through our public meetings, most of the people who have attended and responded to our surveys have indicated that. In fact, I think to about 67% have said that they would support a sales tax,” said Chief Berardi.

If a sales tax is approved, people will see a slight decrease in their property taxes.

”A percentage of the sales tax revenue, your property tax is reduced so not your entire property tax bill, but the obligation towards the fire district,” said Chief Berardi.

The last public input meeting is Thursday, April 28, at 5 p.m. at Fire Station 1.

The address is 1170 Bluff Drive, Osage Beach.

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