BENTON -- After months of controversy, Sikeston voters approved the 10-year 1-cent general revenue sales tax for the City of Sikeston with 1,378 to 1,017 votes during Tuesday's Presidential Primary Election.
"I am very happy and proud of the citizens of Sikeston for voting for this," said Sikeston Mayor Mike Marshall. "Someone once said Sikeston's best years were behind us, but with this, Sikeston's best years are yet to come."
Under the measure, the City of Sikeston can impose a sales tax of 1 percent that will expire Sept. 30, 2014. With two 1/4-cent tax issues to end soon, the tax is actually a 1/2-cent sales tax. Additionally, the City has gone on record to pledge a 21 percent reduction in real estate and personal property taxes.
New revenues will be used, primarily, to support the Department of Public Safety functions, provide funding for the Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority, support the expansion of the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center and assist in other projects.
Sikeston Department of Public Safety Chief Drew Juden was also pleased with the approval of the sales tax.
"This will give us the opportunity to make improvements needed in the department," Juden said. "But most importantly this tells us the residents of Sikeston are tired of status quo in the city."
Juden also noted the revenue from the sales tax is an opportunity for crime to drop and for the department to grow by making Sikeston an attractive opportunity for other officers and agencies.
Nearly 3,815 voters turned up at the polls in Scott County Tuesday, which is about 15 percent of the voting population, according to Scott County Clerk Rita Milam.