911 middle requires VAT enhance for contemporary radio system | Native information

CARTHAGE, Missouri – Jasper County’s fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and ambulances are facing big changes in communications technology over the next few years, and officials say it will cost money to keep up.

The Jasper County Emergency Services Dispatch Board is aiming to increase sales tax from a tenth to a quarter percent.

Voters across Jasper County will see the following question on the ballot on Tuesday: “Should the Jasper County Emergency Services 9-1-1 Board, through its board of directors, be allowed to change its current sales tax rate of one tenth (1/10) of?” one percent on sales tax of up to and no more than a quarter (1/4) of one percent of taxable sales for infrastructure, a nationwide public safety radio system, and fast dispatch of all 9-1-1 calls and non-emergency calls to the police , the rescue service and fire protection? “

April Ford, director of the shipping center, said this was the first sales tax hike the service has sought since its inception nearly three decades ago.

“We passed that 27 years ago in 1994, and we haven’t done anything since,” said Ford. “At one-tenth percent, we are the second least-funded 911 center in the state of Missouri. We only want to go to a quarter percent, and that would get us to a place where we could take care of the infrastructure to set up a nationwide public radio system. “

The tax would be levied on all Jasper County purchases. She said it would more than double the service’s revenue.

“If someone were to spend $ 1,000 (now) on Christmas shopping at the mall, $ 1 would go back to the 911 system,” said Ford. “A quarter of a percentage means that $ 2.50 goes to 911 walk. For the coming year, we expect sales of $ 2 million (with a tenth of a percent tax). What we expect with the new tax, when passed, is based on the sheriff’s office law enforcement tax, which is a quarter of a percent, and he said that typically makes around $ 4.6 million to install a radio system. You speak of millions of dollars that will have to be invested in a radio system nationwide. “

Ford said the nationwide 911 service dispatches 26 agencies using four radio systems. Only two of these systems can communicate with each other.

The long-term plan is to buy a nationwide radio system and offer all fire brigades, police authorities and rescue services the opportunity to use this system, with the shipping service assuming the costs for all departments that want to carry out the move.

“This increase will help us weather this upcoming wave of technology and align with the rest of the state on funding,” said Ford.

Ford said the control center also handles emergency calls for most of the agencies it dispatches.

She said the volume of calls to these non-emergency numbers exceeds calls to 911, but emergency dispatchers need to handle both types of calls.

Ford said the plans include hiring callers to take these non-emergency calls and allowing dispatchers to focus on emergency calls.

A simple majority is required for the tax to be passed.

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