JOPLIN, Mo. — One of the biggest issues before Joplin voters is the Public Safety Tax question.

Voters are being asked to authorize a tax not to exceed $1.00 on the $100.00 of assessed valuation for municipal public safety purposes.

By voting ‘yes,’ residents are saying they would support an increase in property taxes that would generate up to $9-million for the sole purpose of hiring more police officers and fire fighters, increasing their wages, building a new fire station and equipping it, and hiring support staff.

By voting ‘no,’ property taxes would stay the same and it would be up to the City Council and other Joplin leaders to figure out how to not only hire the more than 40 officers needed to support Joplin’s call volume and workload, but also keep them on staff.

This would be a new tax not currently collected by the City and would be in addition to what’s currently collected by the County.

“The simplest way to look at this is if you look at your property tax and your real estate tax you just paid from last year and increase it by 20-percent. That’s if things remain the same the coming year, a 20-percent increase is what you can calculate that the passage of Proposition Public Safety as a cost will be to an individual,” said Mike Seibert, Citizens for Proposition Public Safety Co-Chair.

Seibert adds it will be easy to track the money collected from this tax if it’s approved. He said the first salary increases will take effect November 1st, which will take up a big sum of the money.