Opposing the Transformation question on next month's ballot to save a little money in sales taxes is a bit like ignoring a leaking roof to save on the household budget. The proposed economic development sales tax means a few more pennies at the cash register for the next 10 years, but would stop the endless leaking of tax dollars that will only get worse if left unchecked.
Transformation would reclaim older neighborhoods in our community that we turned our backs on many years ago. Decades of neglect have cost us all. Current residential property values in the older parts of town are roughly half of those elsewhere in our community. That means the property taxes paid in those areas are only about half of those paid by the rest of us. Those neighborhoods aren't carrying their own weight in paying for essential public services like police and fire protection, streets, and sewers. Who makes up the difference? You and I do.
But we can turn this around. Transformation tackles the problem head-on. With targeted investments in our community's central core, we'll see once-blighted neighborhoods recapturing their former worth while generating new activities and new revenues that benefit us all. By transforming current liabilities into attractive assets, the pennies we pay now will save us tax dollars for many years to come.
It is way past time to fix the leaking roof. Investing now can stop the steady drip-drip of tax dollars propping up a sagging infrastructure in blighted neighborhoods.
Transform Jefferson City - vote yes on Tuesday, Feb. 7. We can't afford not to.