County says law enforcement tax can’t be imposed
Tue, 01/03/2023 - 2:00pm admin
The Ozark County Commission released a statement Tuesday afternoon explaining that they’ve become aware of an issue with the additional half-cent law enforcement sales tax that voters here passed in the November General Election.
“It has come to our attention, after notification from the Missouri State Department of Revenue, that the Law Enforcement Sales Tax passed by the voters of Ozark County in the November 8 General Election cannot be imposed. This was a massive shock to us at Ozark County, and we are currently working with Legislatures to navigate through our options to provide the funding so sorely needed for the Ozark County Sheriff’s Department. We want to thank the voters of Ozark County for their support in passing this sales tax and pray that the support so graciously shown will continue as we find the best option to move forward,” the statement says.
Sheriff Cass Martin, who had to lay off two full-time deputies and five other employees at the sheriff’s department in August due to a budget crisis, said his department was depending on the money generated from the additional half-cent sales tax to fund the department in the future. Martin said his department was just beginning their budget process for the year.
“If we can’t get this figured out then obviously we’re going to be in a bind,” Martin told the Times. “We were looking ahead to the year thinking we had this tax money.”
The press release announcing the issue was signed by Ozark County Presiding Commissioner Terry Newton, Western District Commissioner Layne Nance, Eastern District Commissioner Gary Collins, Missouri House District 155th Representative Travis Smith, Sheriff Cass Martin, Clerk Brian Wise, Treasurer Christy Thompson, Collector Darla Sullivan and Assessor Jama Berry.
The Times hopes to have a more detailed story in next week’s edition.