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Voters defeat Barry County tax issues

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 ~ Updated 9:32 PM

Barry County voters defeated two sales tax issues in voting yesterday.

Both a 3/16th of a cent sales tax to support law enforcement and a one-eighth of a cent sales tax for Barry County E-911 were turned down. Only about 200 votes separated those voting in favor and against the tax proposals, and the vote counts were almost identical for both issues with 52 percent voting against the measure and 47 percent in favor.

The law enforcement tax attracted 1,983 "yes" votes compared to 2,201 "no" votes. The emergency services tax garnered 1,988 positive votes and 2,194 negative votes.

Monett voters overwhelmingly voted against both issues. Of the 281 residents who participated in the election, 78.65 percent voted against the county issue and 81.49 percent voted against the 911 issue.

Monett voters were not alone in their opposition of the county sales taxes. Voters living in 12 of the county's 18 jurisdictions voted against both issues. Only voters who live in the City of Cassville, Crane Creek, Golden, Ozark, Roaring River and Shell Knob precincts supported the taxes. Over 55 percent of absentee voters also supported both issues.

In all, the ballot issues produced a voter turnout of just under 21 percent.

The law enforcement tax, which was placed on the ballot by the Barry County Commission, was expected to generate about $650,000 in additional revenue for the county. County commissioners said the money would be used to provide additional funding for the prosecuting attorney's office and the sheriff's department.

The one-eighth of a cent emergency services sales tax was projected to produce $425,000 to $450,000 a year, which would have given the Barry County Emergency Services Board an annual budget of around $1.3 million to operate the Barry County E-911 Center.

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What a shame! "No" voters need to remember this when they're in crisis and the deputy's response time is 45 min. because there is only one on duty. It's a SAD day for the citizens of Barry County.

-- Posted by mamomma on Wed, Nov 9, 2011, at 8:13 AM

I would sure be concerned that the Barry County People might boycott Monett's businesses. While Monett does collect a large portion of the tax revenue for Barry County, how much of that comes from people who eat and shop in Monett, but live outside the city limits.

I also hope that this doesn't cause any friction between the law enforcement officers from the respective jurisdictions.

-- Posted by evenson55 on Wed, Nov 9, 2011, at 10:55 AM

Just wait and see who the first ones are to gripe and complain about the slow responses from Law Enforcement Offices or 911 Responders. Will most likely be the very ones who voted no on this miniscule tax increase. Shame on you!!!

-- Posted by Penster47 on Wed, Nov 9, 2011, at 11:37 AM

I didn't think their response time could get any slower than it already was. Beside, if American people have to learn to live on a budget, then I think it is time that city officials learn to do the same thing. Not shame on us, shame on them.

-- Posted by xx_justme_xx on Wed, Nov 9, 2011, at 12:54 PM

I can't imagine that an addt'l $650k will motivate the Monett PD to climb out of the booth at Taco Bell any faster. Rather than fleece Barry county taxpayers for yet another increase, maybe the powers that be should exercise what most people refer to as "effective time management". The PD can probably check it out at the library--grab a book on politeness while you're at it.

-- Posted by colangus87 on Wed, Nov 9, 2011, at 1:45 PM

NO MORE TAXES what can't u understand

-- Posted by Hag man on Wed, Nov 9, 2011, at 4:13 PM

Amen, Mr. Evenson. What I think the Monett Council forgot when they made their resolution is that not all of the sales taxes derived in Monett are from Monett citizens. People from all over Barry, Lawrence, and Newton counties all come to Monett to shop.

People from various other regions buy things as they drive through Monett. I find it ironic that it's so unfair to Monett that all these taxes are raised in Monett, but it's not unfair for those who shop in Monett to pay taxes towards the new Police HQ/Municipal court (we get no use out of that) or any other City sales tax. Hypocrit I believe is the word I'm looking for.

-- Posted by Blankman on Wed, Nov 9, 2011, at 5:31 PM

What's wrong with some of you folks?!..this didn't just fail in Monett...many other places also. And I find it offensive that the 911 folks now say "people just didn't understand how serious it is, and is was so close, so we have to put it right back on the ballot"!!..if it had barely passed, would we get anotyher chance next time to defeat it?! And by the way...we have absolutely no law enforcement presence in north Barry county already.

-- Posted by common-tater on Thu, Nov 10, 2011, at 10:34 PM

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