Voter Approval of Jackson County Community Backed Anti-Crime Tax (COMBAT) Sets Record
Funding supports anti-violence initiative and community agencies
Jackson County voters approved the extension of the Community Backed Anti-Crime Tax (COMBAT) by a record margin on Nov. 8, 2016 with 77% approving it. The quarter-cent sales tax, which generates over $20 million annually, was renewed by voters for another nine years.
“I’d like to thank voters for their support of COMBAT. It is a vital part of our success in improving the quality of life for everyone who lives in Jackson County. We are seeing real progress from our efforts,” said White.
Key positions throughout Jackson County are funded by COMBAT, including jobs in the office of the Prosecutor, Sheriff, Drug Abuse Response Team, Drug Task Force, Drug Court, community agencies, drug treatment programs and county jail.
Stacey Daniels-Young, COMBAT Director, says that the quality of life for people living and working in Jackson County is improved through the work of COMBAT-funded agencies. She explained that COMBAT funds three major types of programs: prevention, treatment and criminal justice (including enforcement, prosecution and diversion programs).
As a renewable sales tax, COMBAT was first approved by Jackson County voters in 1989 and has been approved every seven years since then. Funds to focus on anti-violence initiatives through COMBAT were first approved in 2009. Since then, programming has increased to address growing needs.
In 2014, COMBAT piloted the Anti-Violence Special Initiative (AVSI), which included 16 programs that target specific areas to reduce violence. For example, COMBAT provides support to the Kansas City No Violence Alliance (KC NoVA), which focuses on the small percentage of career criminals who perpetrate the majority of violent crime in Kansas City’s urban core.