Our Opinion: ‘Yes’ to Transformation

News Tribune editorial

Transformation represents a culmination.

The economic development initiative to be decided Tuesday by Jefferson City voters collects a range of projects that have languished for years on our community’s “to-do” list.

The proposed half-cent sales tax for 10 years would generate an estimated $41 million to finance 30 projects.

Many of these projects have been on the local radar for some time. Project areas include Old Town, Downtown, MSP redevelopment site and Millbottom area. Also included are enhancements for a proposed conference center and a partnership to locate Lincoln University programs in the St. Mary’s Health Center building to be vacated.

Invariably, some individuals will criticize the inclusion of specific projects. That is a virtue of the list. It is not any individual’s ideal; it reflects community consensus developed through a public process.

We appreciate the sentiments of people who have expressed concerns about increasing the sales tax.

We agree proposed tax issues must be justifiable and reasonable; we believe the Transformation initiative exceeds those standards.

Local taxes are much more efficient than state or federal taxes, which must divert significant portions of each tax dollar to feed bureaucracies. In addition, accountability by local governing bodies can be monitored and progress and completion of promised projects can be tracked.

In the final analysis, Transformation marks a crossroads. Our community can choose continued stagnation or visionary progress.

Stagnation begets deterioration. Historic buildings at the MSP site — now a tourist attraction — will disintegrate. Once vacated, the St. Mary’s facility overlooking the center of our city, will descend into disrepair if it remains unoccupied.

The alternative is action, development and progress. Our community can transform potential liabilities into attractive assets.

We encourage residents to support a vibrant future for our community. Vote “yes” Tuesday on Proposition 1 to transform Jefferson City.

Visit the Transformation section to read additional articles about the Transform Jefferson City proposal.

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