Keep Cape Safe

Cape Girardeau is fortunate to have outstanding public safety personnel helping to protect its more than 38,000 residents and estimated 100,000-person daytime population. To maintain critical services for our citizens, we need to provide public safety personnel with adequate facilities and vehicles. Find information for the Fire Tax and Public Safety Trust Fund below. Please contact us with comments and questions.

Voter-Approved November 4, 2014

The following was the last item on the November 4, 2014 ballot:

PROPOSITION - Shall the City of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, extend the imposition of the City’s existing fire sales tax of one-eighth of one percent (1/8 of 1%) beyond its current expiration date for the purpose of providing revenues for the operation of the Cape Girardeau Municipal Fire Department? This one-eighth of one percent (1/8 of 1%) sales tax extension shall expire on December 31, 2035. YES [ ] NO [ ]

All revenue generated by the Fire Sales Tax is used for the Fire Department. Some General Fund revenue otherwise designated for the Fire Department has been made available to fund needs in the Police Department via the Public Safety Trust Fund.

Keep the Tax the Same

Voting YES to renew the Fire Tax will not increase the current tax rate. The first Fire Tax approved by voters in 2004 was a one-quarter of one percent sales tax to fund fire and police department expenses. Half of that revenue source, which is one-eighth of one percent, is permanent and used for operating expenses. The other half will expire Dec. 31, 2014 and has been used for capital improvements associated with the fire and police departments.

Keep Facilities & Vehicles Up-To-Date Plans for Fire Tax Funds & Public Safety Trust Fund, 2014-2035

The revenue generated from this 1/8-cent sales tax renewal is expected to be $1.2 million per year. The ballot asked voters to approve it for 21 years. Half of the funding will be used for facilities and the other half will be used to replace existing fire apparatus (fire trucks, SUVs) and police vehicles as needed, as shown below.

Vehicles and Apparatus ($600,000 per year)
Maintain public safety vehicle replacement within industry standards.

  • Replace Fire apparatus every 10-15 years as needed
  • Replace Police vehicles every 7-10 years as needed

Facilities ($600,000 per year)

  • Renovations to Fire Stations 1 and 2
  • Replace Fire Station 4
  • Contribute to replacement Police Station

Casino Revenue Commitment
Committing Fire Tax funds to facilities and vehicles would require casino funds be reserved to fund these priorities:

  • Radio interoperability: $610,000 (from this fiscal year and next)
  • Security addition at Emergency Operations Center: $100,000
  • Police Station funding: $2.8 million

Summary of Police Station Funding Sources
Since the Fire Tax cannot cover the entire Police Station, the following recaps how a replacement Police facility could be funded if the Fire Tax renewal is approved by voters in November:

 Restaurant Tax:  $4.2 million 
 Fire Tax:  $4.0 million
 Casino Funds:  $2.8 million
 Total:  $11 million

Note that these are preliminary project estimates that account for today's estimates, financing costs, and flexibility for 21 years. All funds will support critical needs in public safety.

Fire Tax -- Promised and Delivered

Results from 2004-2014 Fire Tax & Public Safety Trust Fund
Download the Full Financial Report

$1+ million per year for ongoing Public Safety operations
Permanent 1/8-cent tax
  • Provide competitive compensation adjustment for public safety personnel
  • Grant match for three firefighters
  • Emergency Communications Division (911)

$1+ million per year for Public Safety capital expenses
Expiring 1/8-cent tax

  • Fire Facilities: Relocated Fire Station 3 adding Communication (911) Center and Emergency Operations Center; renovations at Fire Station 1 and 4, replaced roof on Fire Station 2
  • Fire Apparatus: 3 new pumper fire trucks, 1 new ladder truck, 1 platform ladder truck was refurbished and later replaced with a used platform ladder truck, new 4x4 fire truck, 1 new rescue boat
  • Fire Equipment: replaced self-contained breathing apparatus, replaced jaws of life equipment
  • Renovations to the Police Department facility
  • Police Vehicles: replacement police cars
  • Replaced public safety communications equipment
  • Replaced public safety personal protective equipment

Voter Information

Fire Tax on Cape Chronicle
Fire Tax information on Cape Chronicle with News Producer Jacob McCleland of KRCU (NPR affiliate). Watch full episodes of Cape Chronicle online, on public access channel CG993, or the CW every weekday morning after 8 a.m. with other locally produced news and feature programs.

Fire Tax Discussion at League of Women Voters Forum
Watch the full forum online or public access channel CG993 on Charter cable.
Watch the fire tax segment now, online.

Public Safety
Programs and Departments
Fire Department
Police Department

Schedule a Presentation, Q&A for Fire Tax
Presentations and discussion sessions are always available for related topics. Please contact the speaker directly or the Public Information Office (573-339-6391) to make arrangements for your civic, employee or other group.

Inquiry & Contact

More Information
Fire Sales Tax 2004-2014
Summary of Expenses
Project Estimates

Voter Confidence
In June 2004, the voters of Cape Girardeau passed a ¼-cent fire sales tax by an overwhelming majority of 82%.

In November 2014, voters renewed the tax but voters were split 60-40.

Community Driven
The 2012 Citizen Survey showed resident approval of Police and Fire services, but also a strong desire for improved services.

  • Fire and police services were the top 4 highest rated services by businesses. Fire also topped the resident list.
  • Crime and safety was the highest priority, second only to economic development.
  • Respondents ranked drugs and run-down buildings and homes as needing the most major attention.

View the survey