Lawrence city commissioners are being presented with a new set of scenarios — all of them involving new sales taxes — to fund a multimillion-dollar effort to boost the city’s police force.
At their Tuesday afternoon budget study session, commissioners will hear staff proposals to fund major improvements to the Lawrence Police Department, which include building a new headquarters building and adding more than 40 new positions to the force.
The proposals differ from a $42 million plan presented earlier this summer. None of the new proposals includes property tax increases, and some of the plans call for a smaller police headquarters facility and propose to add new police positions at slower rate.
Here’s a look at the latest proposals:
• A $30-million police headquarters building and 46 police positions all added over a four-year period. That’s all unchanged from the proposal made earlier this summer. What’s different is that the scenario proposes a 0.4-percent sales tax increase that would last for at least 20 years, but perhaps longer. The original proposal called for a 1-percent sales tax increase for approximately three years, coupled with property tax increases totaling 4.7 mills.
• A $24-million police headquarters building and the addition of the 46 police positions over seven years. This scenario would require a 0.35 percent sales tax for at least 20 years.
• A $24-million police headquarters building and the addition of the 46 police positions over 10 years. This scenario would require a 0.35 percent sales tax for at least 20 years.
Staff members also note that all the above mentioned sales taxes could be decreased by 0.1 percent, if the city is willing to use a portion of the city’s share of the countywide 1-cent sales tax to fund the police project.
Any new sales tax to pay for the police project would require a public election. City commissioners aren’t scheduled to make any decisions about the police project at their meeting on Tuesday, but they are expected to give staff members feedback on the latest proposals.