On the April 3 election in Independence, voters will choose for or against a proposal to increase the city real estate tax proceeds to the general fund, forever. This proposal would fail overwhelmingly on its own merits by all estimates. Proponents have introduced a diversionary element in an effort to prevail.

To the editor:

On the April 3 election in Independence, voters will choose for or against a proposal to increase the city real estate tax proceeds to the general fund, forever. This proposal would fail overwhelmingly on its own merits by all estimates. Proponents have introduced a diversionary element in an effort to prevail.

The proponents selected a city service already given high priority in the City Charter and proclaim this tax is for the Police Department and would be used for hiring 34 added patrolmen, and dispatchers and detectives to solve more burglaries, provide rapid response to calls, and cure any other complaints of the department. Also the present number of police and their funding will be continued without reduction, and the funding from the new tax will all be additional.

None of this is in the ballot proposal. None of this in any written commitment. The only ballot restriction is for “police services.” The interpretation for that is left for the future.

We have been bombarded about the dire need for all of these items. The city manager brought in a former police chief to verify these needs and he stated he had repeatedly requested more funds when he was chief but was refused by the mayor, council and managers, who claimed no more funds were available. Since then, city funds have been used for millions of dollars for tax-increment financing projects, infrastructure for developers, economic development, the new expressway, on and on. With only a part of that expense for favored projects, the number of patrol officers could have been increased every year.

Defeat this deceitful proposal. Fund the basics first. Appropriate sufficient funds for an adequate Police Department. Then let the voters decide future added taxes for crony developers, cozy political groups, or even if any new “whims” are necessary.