Once again, Cole County voters approved renewing the county's half-cent sales tax for capital projects for another five years.
The unofficial results showed 5,325 "yes" votes (78.92 percent) and 1,422 "no" votes (21.08 percent)
Roger Schwartz, a member of the leadership team for the Citizens for Proposition A group, said, "We look forward to another five years of progress on roads and bridges as well as facilities in the county thanks to the support of the citizens. Our campaign was different this time because of the COVID pandemic and not being able to meet with people like we have done in the past. But we were still able to get the message out with different methods."
Cole County voters last approved an extension of the tax in April 2016, with just more than 79 percent voting in favor of the measure.
The sales tax, first approved in the 1980s, allows funding for road and bridge projects, which receive 85 percent of the funds generated, and facility and equipment improvements, which receive the remaining 15 percent.
With renewal of the tax, the total amount of expenditures on projects from 2022-26 is $34,500,000 — $3.5 million more than the $31 million in the 2017-21 cycle of the tax.
For the 15 percent for county facilities, the amount will increase for maintenance and renovation from $2.85 million in this cycle to $3.275 million in the next cycle. The total amount goes from $4,65 million in this cycle to $5.17 million in the next cycle.
The amount for cooperative projects with the seven small communities in the county would go from $1.5 million in the current cycle to $1.7 million in the upcoming cycle.
Each of the seven small communities in Cole County — Centertown, Lohman, Russellville, St. Martins, St. Thomas, Taos and Wardsville — receives $100,000 in sales tax funds during the five-year period of the tax, generally used for overlaying streets.
For Jefferson City, $5.5 million is in the next tax cycle for cooperative projects.
The majority of the county's revenue for public works comes from the half-cent sales tax. The half-cent sales tax generated $5.69 million for public works in the last fiscal year.