Jefferson City Council Looks at Restructuring Fire Department Funding

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JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Council voted Monday night to put a Fire Department Improvement Plan on the August ballot. The improvement plan is intended to increase funds for the fire department, which has been seeking more money for a little more than two months.

The plan includes switching the type of tax currently funding the fire department. 9.61 cents for every $100 in personal property tax currently goes toward the department. If the improvement plan is approved this August, one-fourth of one cent in sales taxes would be implemented and the personal property tax would be discontinued.

As members of the fire department pleaded their case to city council, many of the same concerns were reiterated including outdated oxygen masks and under-funded training programs. One firefighter even used an example of having to leave multiple fires because he couldn't breathe due to a faulty mask.

A spokesperson for the city said the new tax will increase funds because it is only available to the fire department.