My understanding is 40%+ of the calls the fire department receives are to office buildings which by and large employ people who live outside of the city limits. Add to that the enormous amount of real estate owned by the government in the city limits which doesn't pay real estate tax and the balance of those who pay vs. those who receive benefit clearly isn't equal. I don't know the details of this proposal and will research prior to voting but my gut feeling is there should be a more equitable split between those who receive benefit vs. those who pay for it.
These comments should have a different tone and much less negativity! Congratulations to all the graduates and may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows. I wish you all the best of luck and hope you can look past the cynics who love to post negativity online.
The original proposition of spending millions of dollars on MSP did not sit well with me. Then I took a tour and wow did my point of view change. If you have ever travelled and absorbed the history of any place you've been you can appreciate how important MSP can be to preserving the past of Jefferson City while simultaneously bostering the future economic development. I'm not presuming nobody on this forum has taken the tour but I'm sure there are other non-posters who read these forums and that's my target audience. Before anyone decides the site is not worth saving based on patently negative news tribune forum posters, please take a tour while the buildings still stand and decide for yourself.
I'm a 29 year old young professional who has been watching Facebook and Twitter all night and this is a travesty that it didn't pass. Sure hope more of my friends don't move to Columbia, St. Louis, or Kansas City like they've been talking about... I hope many of you that voted no get involved like the folks trying to pass transformation invited you, or come up with a plan of your own. I commend the Chamber, City Council, and those that worked on this for putting together a plan to move our community forward - better than anything else I've seen. For those that voted no, I hope you don't complain about state wages remaining stagnant (where do you think those funds come from???? taxes, duh!), the quality of life in Jefferson City, crime, or any other nonsense. At least these people put together a plan. I voted yes for this measure and hope it comes back. If you voted no I hope you either get involved next time around or come up with a better plan on your own. The "average residents" were invited to participate in this process. Hopefully next time they will get involved. At the very least I hope they take notice of the vacant buildings around this town and take satisfaction in knowing they voted against creating economic growth.
The most disappointing facet is I was handed opposition propaganda at the polls today and cannot find any facts to corroborate most of the stuff that was on their sheet. I think those of you still speaking poorly about this plan were led astray. What a shame.
The commenters on this site are by and large negative so I'm sure many will comment back but I really don't care. Like every person, I also HATE paying taxes.
However, I will be voting YES for Transformation. I've been involved with the process and understand it has many parts that together change the economic landscape of the city. Individually, they don't - as many here have pointed out. The plan laid before us has been well designed and includes many safeguards. This is our time to make a change in Jefferson City and build economic resilience against state jobs. The projects themselves are not designed to directly employ people. They're designed to make the community attractive for private investors to locate here and make it feasible. My job deals heavily with small businesses. As an example of what Transformation can do, I am in discussions with a small business with a national footprint that wants to locate in downtown Jefferson City IF Transformation passes. If it doesn't, they're probably going elsewhere. The capital injection for that business? Almost $1 Million. Not $1 Million from the tax, $1 Million private dollars. They're rehabbing old buildings, employing high paying people, and bringing national attention to Jefferson City. See the real point of Transformation?
Oh, and I'm a young professional and don't consider this rhetoric. My friends who have located elsewhere have lamented on how stubborn and regressive this city is. Remember the casino that went to Boonville because people were afraid of crime? Anyone who's been there can attest there does not seem to be a crime problem in Boonville. Now we can prove them wrong by supporting growth. Please join me in voting YES February 7th to help demonstrate we are a city interested in the future and the naysayers on the NT blog are in the minority. Thank you.
I'm not sure why you thought I think you're uneducated but my point was simply that you're argument doesn't address the entire Transformation package. I can't judge your intellect since I don't know you at all. However, I can read your comment and know the argument is your perception of a few components (of which you're certainly entitled) whereas I like to examine the whole project. There are parts of Transformation I don't agree with; but, on the whole think it's a lot better than sitting back and not doing anything. Moreover, I don't think 50 cents on a $100 purchase will be a deterrent to growth. I do believe infrastructure, amenities, and the pride of accomplishing these projects that will permeate our population will attract people to our city and be a catalyst for growth. When people come here for conventions they will shop at our stores, eat at our restaurants, buy our gas, maybe even drink in our bars if that's their thing. When the old St. Mary's expands to include educational offerings like a culinary school and nursing expansion which currently has a waiting list those students and instructors will similarly bring revenue to the area - not to mention the other private investment opportunities that exist at that site. By the way, I'm far from liberal, have never voted for a tax increase in my life, and am extremely conservative in every manner; but, believe in making tangible investments to identified projects which is what Transformation does. Let's make one thing clear. I absolutely HATE taxes but I strongly believe in taking action to make our community a better place. We have the privilege to vote for what we believe is right and I believe putting our foot forward to create a community we can all be proud of is the right thing to do so I will vote yes without hostility towards anyone voting no. My sincere apologies you felt insulted - that certainly wasn't the intent. Perhaps instead of the pronoun "you" I should have used the more appropriate "one" to avoid confusion.
The economy is changing and the criteria businesses consider when looking for a place to either locate, relocate, or expand is as well. Tax abatement incentives and free land for businesses to relocate are commonplace so businesses are looking for a community with a high "quality of place" which is largely what the sales tax addresses.
Will the convention center employ the positions you mention? Absolutely, but the end result will not be just a few low paying jobs. You need to look beyond the immediate impact and realize utilizing the resources in our town will make it attractive for companies to come here. I've researched Economic Development Sales Taxes and discovered other communities have done it and it's worked (Oklahoma City & Springfield, MO are great examples). If anything, this tax benefits everyone more than a select few. The convention center makes a lot of sense given the amount of associations housed in JC currently holding conventions outside of our city since we don't have a place for them. But, the convention center is a portion of the pie - not the whole plan so don't throw the baby out with the bath water. The whole plan makes sense if you can grasp its enormity. The tax will benefit everyone, not just a few, by way of greater attractions, infrastructure, and attractiveness to procure goog paying jobs. Please do some research and fully understand the opportunity laid before you prior to coming back with an uninformed argument as it appears you want many of the same things the sales tax is designed to address.
I'm glad some people in the community have had the foresight to proactively attempt to shift the Central Missouri economy from dependant on state government to putting it in our own hands. That's precisely what Transformation does, invest tax revenues from Jefferson Citians (and visitors) into Jefferson City projects. If one steps back and looks at the big picture of what Transformation does and can comprehend all 30 projects it really changes the feel and business dynamic of Jefferson City. Do taxes suck? Absolutely. But, I'd much rather control our own destiny with projects designed, funded, and implemented by the citizens of this city. As we've seen, we can't just sit back and let "800 less families to build houses, buy cars, live their lives and spend their money in Jefferson City" happen to us again.
As of 8/2011 per BLS.gov:
National Unemployment Rate = 9.1
Missouri Unemployment Rate = 8.9
Jefferson City MSA Unemployment Rate = 7.3
Thanks to those that commented for sharing your initial reaction to the article. Here are some of my thoughts and input on potential issues you have identified:
The items identified as necessary to transform our community were voiced by the public, not a select few. Based on feedback received from the public volunteers were sought to be a part of the process of taking grandiose ideas and figuring out what was feasible, specifics to each process, and the associated cost. Opportunity workshops (again open to the public) were held giving everyone that attended them the chance to vote for the proposed initiatives they felt was most important. I'm unaware of the exact total number of people that have been involved in this process but think it is over 300 (both chamber members and non-chamber members.) In short, many people have been a part of this process and not only the elitest as a previous commenter suggested. If I remember correctly, there were even ads placed in the paper promoting meetings at public places seeking comment from any and all. Given the interest in the process voiced by each of you I'm sure you attended one of those many opportunities to help shape our community.
Another poster commented they have reservations about the 10 year sunset on the proposed tax. In order for this Transformation to have the greatest impact there are several projects that need to happen quickly and simultaneously. A bulk of the projects identified can get done in the next 2 to 5 years. All funding sources identify an injection of capital to make the projects happen. If a renewal of this tax is deemed necessary in another ten years it will be because this effort has been wildly successful and more projects have been identified by the public, not city council.
The strain on the economy of a 1/2 cent sales tax has been discussed at length. More importantly though the cost of doing nothing is far greater. The Transformation addresses issues much deeper than making Jefferson City more attractive to tourists. It is a change in thinking and a culture shift to position our community to be an economic leader for decades to come.
I make these points for two reasons. First, I am a 30 year old Jefferson City resident with a young child at home and want the best for him growing up. That can't happen by just sitting back and watching the world pass us by. Secondly, I volunteered to be a part of the Transformation process and have seen firsthand the amount and degree of hard work put in by the 300+ people to make our community better by figuring out how to achieve tasks once thought insurmountable. Tasks originally identified by the citizens of our community.
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