Tax hike vote considered key to Ferguson deal with Justice

9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago April 05, 2016 Apr 5, 2016 Tuesday, April 05 2016 Tuesday, April 05, 2016 5:19:00 AM CDT in News
By: Jim Salter, The Associated Press

FERGUSON (AP) — Implementation of Ferguson's settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice is at stake as voters in the St. Louis suburb consider two tax hike proposals.

Mayor James Knowles III says the passage of both a sales and property tax increase in Tuesday's election is crucial if Ferguson is going to pay for changes sought by the Justice Department. The agency's examination after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown uncovered significant racial bias in the Missouri town's criminal justice system.

City leaders say measures associated with the agreement will cost Ferguson $2.3 million over three years.

That's a lot for a government already facing a $2.9 million deficit. Knowles said last week he was unsure how the city could pay for reforms without passage of both tax increases.

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