Buckner voters approve sales tax increase

By The Examiner staff

Buckner citizens appeared to approve their first sales tax increase in more than 40 years, saying yes Tuesday to a 1 percent tax increase.

Unofficial results Tuesday from the Jackson County Election Board, with a few absentee votes still to count around the county, showed 652 yes votes to 568 no votes – 54 to 46 percent.

Last year, citizens tied with their vote on the same increase and failed to approve it – 145 votes apiece.

The 1 percent increase will put Buckner’s sales tax at 8.61 percent, equal to Grain Valley and Oak Grove. Blue Springs’ base sales tax is 8.6 percent. Independence’s base sales tax rate is 7.86 percent.

City leaders anticipated the tax increase could raise an $200,000 a year, more than 20 percent of the city's current budget. More than two-thirds of that budget goes to the police department, which has dealt with hiring and retention issues.

The general fund, which also covers, building inspection services and maintenance, municipal code enforcement, animal control, community development and administration, had a budget just below $975,000 for fiscal year 2020-21.