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Your Opinion: City sales tax opposed

Your Opinion: City sales tax opposed

July 3rd, 2011 by Dennis Morrissey, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

The renewal of Jefferson City's capital improvement sales tax is set for vote on Aug. 2, and as of June 29, the city has no detailed list of the planned expenditure of these funds. Are we expected to approve the renewal of $25 million in taxes on blind faith?

The parks system wants over $1 million of these funds for use in building a recreation center which would compete with the YMCA and private businesses. This doesn't seem appropriate. Parks has their own sales tax and the YMCA doesn't need competition.

During the last five years the city has used sales tax funds for round-abouts while road maintenance was almost non-existent. Even newer roads, like the westbound portion of Edgewood, are already in disrepair. There are plans to beautify Wears Creek and build in the Millbottom. These projects may be worthy but we need infrastructure maintenance and repair.

Most other private and governmental employees have lost benefits and receive no raises while city employees get raises and additional benefits.

There are plans for building a conference center; an admitted money loser. Jefferson City would make tax subsidy payments to the private hotel to operate the facility. If we have to do this, why can't the city get together with the park board and build a rec center/conference center.

Funds go for Adrian's Island - still my favorite and under water right now. I'm sure some tax funds would have to be used for development, cleanup and maintenance.

The city has studies that say we need $3 million for fire station updates. There are plans to build a new fire station and offices. The city collected and kept over $600,000 in tax for ambulance service but the service was never provided and funds were used to buy land for this project. There seems to be a spend, spend, spend attitude at taxpayer expense.

In absence of a plan that allocates the proceeds from renewal of this tax for maintenance and repair, rather than new development and special projects; I ask that you consider voting no on this issue. The savings to you could be a little or a lot, depending on your expenditures. If you vote no you would have more money in your pocket and a say in how the funds were spent.

Please vote no Aug. 2.