Vote YES on Questions 1 and 2 on November 5
At the Springfield ballot box next month, citizens will be asked to vote on two sales taxes that fund important city services, personnel and infrastructure – and the Chamber is asking for your support.
After discussion and recommendations from the Chamber’s Local Issues Public Policy Task Force, the Board of Directors has voted to endorse the following two items on the November 5 ballot:
- Question 1 is a renewal of the city’s 1/8-cent Transportation Sales Tax.
- The tax, first approved by voters in 1996, has generated more than $100 million in revenue for street resurfacing and rehabilitation, traffic flow, safety and walkability projects.
- The city has proposed an extension of the existing sunset on the tax to 20 years, which would offer additional flexibility to address future needs and tackle large-scale projects.
- Public input and oversight will continue through use of the city’s Capital Improvement Project planning process and the Citizen Tax Oversight Committee.
- This tax has enjoyed widespread community support each time it has come up for renewal due to strong accountability measures; funding safe roads and infrastructure is key to our city’s long-term success, and the Chamber board has voted to endorse the renewal on November 5.
- Question 2 is a renewal of the 3/4-cent Police-Fire Pension Fund Sales Tax.
- The tax has a five-year sunset and was first passed by voters in 2009 to address underfunding of the city’s Police-Fire Pension Fund. All revenue collected since the tax was implemented has been put into the pension plan.
- As of June 2018, the pension plan was funded at 86%, up from a low of 35% in 2008. Actuaries estimate the plan – which is now closed to new hires – will reach 100% funding during the next five-year period. Once it reaches 100% funding, the tax will automatically sunset by statute.
- This tax also includes strong accountability measures. The renewal was recommended by a citizen task force, and the fund is carefully managed by an independent Police-Fire Pension board.
- Supporting this measure is a continuation of our strategic, long-term investment in public safety and our public safety personnel. It’s important to our community, which is why the Chamber board encourages members to support this tax renewal by voting YES on November 5.
The Chamber encourages members to get out to vote on November 5 and support these important initiatives by voting YES on Question 1 and Question 2! More detailed information on both ballot issues, including exact ballot language, is available on the city’s website.
Paid for by Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Matt Morrow, President, PO Box 1687, Springfield MO 65801