Like other cities across the nation, the city of Springfield Missouri is asking its voters whether or not the city should increase its sales tax to help raise funds. In Springfield’s case it is the pension fund for police officers and fire fighters that they want to increase. The tax was officially proposed to the city council by the City Manager Greg Burris and is only a single cent raise over the current rate.
Many of the Springfield citizens wonder why the city’s budget cannot just be re-worked to make the funding possible. Some have suggested cutting funding for less needed programs to find the money. Unfortunately, city officials say that even if they were to re-work the city budget, the pension fund would still fall short and that shortage would be effective for retirees within the next five years.
Nobody wants to see the police officers and fire fighters have their pensions reduced or cut, but finding the money to keep that fund well stocked has proven to be a bit of a problem because Springfield citizens don’t want their sales tax raised either. Currently Springfield has one of the lowest tax rates in the state. The single cent increase would not affect the competitive rates that Springfield has enjoyed for so long.
According to the official Springfield website, the single cent tax increase would mean one dollar in liability for every one hundred dollars in taxable purchases over the course of five years, or until the pension becomes fully funded again. If the pension refills before the five years has passed the one cent increase in taxes will stop.