The Barry County E-911 Board held a special meeting this week and voted to place a one-eighth of a cent sales tax on the November ballot. Currently, Barry County E-911 operates on a quarter-cent sales tax.
Board members initially raised the possibility of pursuing an additional sales tax at the end of May when a public meeting was held to discuss the organization's financial position.
Board members said a costly lawsuit over Monett's tax increment financing (TIF) and lagging sales tax revenue due to the recession have combined to place financial strain on E-911 operations. Board President Jon Horner said the board would have to file for bankruptcy if the financial situation did not change.
"With our cash position wiped out and the fact that we're not properly funded from a revenue standpoint, we're faced with the situation we're in," said Horner.
"We've done what we can to reduce our budget significantly," said board member Richard Asbill. "This system exists for all the citizens of Barry County. I know it's a very difficult fiscal time, but I still think E-911 provides a very good service, and we need to do what we can to continue offering this service and we need community support."
Specific ballot language for the proposal will be determined and approved by the board at a later date.
Members of the Barry County E-911 Board include: Horner, Richard Asbill, Harold Schelin, Leonard Witt, David Dalton, Mick Epperly and Mike Redshaw.
A more detailed story on the sales tax issue and the E-911 Board's response to a funding proposal from the City of Monett will appear in Monday's issue of The Monett Times.