MONTROSE, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT News)-- Montrose voters will be deciding whether or not to increase a public safety sales tax this upcoming November.
“City council decided to form a citizens committee that was going to make a recommendation back to city council about the need for a public safety tax,” says Montrose PD Administrative Commander, Matthew Smith.
If approved, Montrose PD will be getting an increase in cash, thanks to higher taxes.
“Between 2011 and 2018, they’ve increased our public safety budget, just the police department, by $2.1 million," says Smith.
But they say that it’s not enough. Recent analysis showed that Montrose PD also needs to increase their number of officers by twenty. Fourteen of those officers will be sworn positions; the other six will be support positions. Montrose PD says they are looking for officers that can target very specific types of crimes.
“So that we can take the burden of the more serious felony crimes, that are typically handled by investigators, off of our patrol officers shoulders," says Smith.
Montrose PD says that they’ve had a recent surge in drug offenses, specifically meth. They think the tax increase would be slight. It could be a minimum of .5 percent.
But some don’t believe higher taxes are the answer. Some say the money’s already there and that it just needs to be distributed more effectively. Resident Bob Dumit says he hopes to see more transparency:
“It would be nice to know where they’re spending the money and how much will actually be going towards the officers," says Dumit.