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Sales tax eyed for economic development plan with $69 million wish list

Sales tax eyed for economic development plan with $69 million wish list

August 5th, 2011 in News

The Missouri River Runner gets an enthusiastic response Thursday evening as it pulls away from the Lohman's Landing station headed towards Kansas City. One of the suggestions of the Chamber of Commerce's "Transformation" teams was to bypass the train tracks with a pedestrian bridge connecting Adrian's Island to the Rotary Centennial Park at Bolivar Street. To pay for such proposed projects, the Chamber is eyeing an economic development sales tax.

Photo by Kelley McCall

Just one day after voters approved a city sales tax extension, the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce discussed a potential sales tax of its own.

Chamber action teams presented proposals and recommendations Wednesday for the chamber's "Transformation" economic development strategic plan. Darryl Winegar, economic development action team co-chairman, said the team has recommended pursuing an economic development sales tax to obtain funding for "Transformation."

"We'd like to encourage or attempt to put an ED (economic development) sales tax on the ballot at some point," Winegar said.

As part of the strategic plan, nine action teams were formed to create strategies for growth in the Jefferson City area. The nine action teams are: St. Mary's Redevelopment, Downtown, Millbottom, Lincoln University, Retail Attraction, Business Growth, Economic Development, Missouri State Penitentiary and Old Town.

Combined, all team proposals that specified a one-time cost associated with the recommendations amounted to a total of more than $69 million. Yearly costs for all proposals combined amounted to about $2.4 million.

Winegar said whoever sponsors the proposed tax would have the "administrative authority" to direct the funds to various Transformation projects.