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Springfield, MO

Council sends level property tax renewal to voters

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Springfield City Council yesterday voted 7-1 to send a continuation of the level property tax to the Nov. 7 ballot. Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky opposed the measure and Councilman Richard Ollis was absent from yesterday’s luncheon.

If approved, the 27-cent property tax per $100 of assessed value on property owned in the city would mark the fourth renewal by voters. City residents overwhelming supported the measure on ballots in 1999, 2001 and 2004, according to a news release.

Officials say a renewal would not increase taxes. The level property tax generates roughly $8.5 million annually for capital projects, including Police and Fire station construction, public safety vehicles, stormwater improvements and emergency storm warning systems.

Upcoming projects to be funded by the level property tax include:
    •    construction of a West Central fire station and the replacement or upgrade of several others;
    •    buying equipment for the Fire and Police departments;
    •    contributions to a city-county jail expansion, which total $2 million if county voters approve a new sales tax measure in November; and
    •    City Hall renovations.

“The projects mirror City Council’s adopted priorities of public safety, economic vitality and fiscal sustainability,” Mayor Ken McClure said in the release. “We cannot sustain our economy without the essential services that keep our citizens safe and secure with effective Police and Fire protection and well-maintained infrastructure.”

With higher assessed values on property, the level property tax grows an estimated 2 percent each year, officials say.

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