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Citizens of Springfield Pass Tax to Fund Police and Fire Pensions

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/citizensof_5491.mp3

The sales tax proposal designed to help shape up the police and fire pension fund passed Tuesday with 55 percent of voters saying "yes" to the tax.City and community leaders watched the results come in during a watch party last night at the Discovery Center in Springfield.

KSMU's Chasity Mayes was at the watch party and files this report.

City officials had made it clear prior to Tuesday's vote that if the tax increase failed, there would be serious financial ramifications for the city.Some opponents of the sales tax increase said it would disproportionately affect the poor. Despite these and other concerns expressed by the opposition, voters passed the tax.

Greg Burris, Springfield City Manager says that he feels the tax passed because voters were more informed.

Burris also said that this tax is part of a five year plan to improve city finances. In five years, voters will have the chance to re-consider the tax with another vote.

Attendees of the watch party Tuesday night stayed optimistic before the results were confirmed. Co-Interim Fire Chief David Hall said he believes the tax passed because the citizens of Springfield saw the big picture.

Supporters of the tax increase agree that it’s not a quick fix, but they say it's a good start toward dealing with the budget shortfall related to the police and fire pension fund.

For KSMU News, I’m Chasity Mayes.