Your Opinion: Say no to Transformation sales tax
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Please consider these issues before deciding how to vote. Our sales tax will be higher than Columbia. Other city sales tax revenues may decrease if shoppers avoid Jefferson City. If business increases, it will not offset cost of the tax and only benefit select taxpayers.
The tax will generate $50 million or $10 million more than the proposed projects cost but, $7 million will be wasted on bond financing because supporters can’t wait for the tax to come in over the 10 years. Up to $1.5 million may be used for administration (likely the chamber).
$10 million (20 percent of the tax) will go to build a conference center that was supposed to be built with the hotel tax increase.
Tax dollars built a Highway 179 interchange for St. Mary’s and about $8 million in transformation tax will go to help St. Mary’s rehab their old building. Maybe St. Mary’s should donate the old building to the city for receiving this much tax help.
Lower income families will pay a higher percentage of their income for purchases than higher income people. We are not being told of ongoing costs to operate and maintain facilities.
History tells us actual project costs will be much higher than the estimated $40 million.
The tax will be overseen by people that are not elected or responsible to taxpayers.
The tax will support a new hotel which will compete with struggling local hotels and require continued tax payments to help the new hotel run the conference center. Parks has money and wants to build a recreation center. Why not use their funds to build a combination recreation/conference center.
The one money making transformation idea, the MSP project, will give the revenue to the CVB so they don’t go broke.
Proposed Millbottom development is in flood prone areas and contains frivolous projects like moving the railroad yard, development of Adrian’s Island and a marina on the river.
The city already has three sales taxes (general, capital improvements, and parks). The county has three (general, road and bridge, and jail). There is also the recently increased hotel tax and the city hopes to annex additional hotels for more revenue. The next thing on the agenda will be a tax increase for new schools. Where does it all end?
For these reasons the transformation tax deserves a no vote on Feb. 7.