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Springfield, MO

Here’s what the county would spend new tax money on

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Ahead of the Nov. 7 election, the Greene County Commission voted yesterday to release the details of planned spending if its new 1/2-cent general revenue sales tax passes.

"The county is committed to transparency and accountability, as evidenced by our participation in the Great Game of Government and other activities of county offices," Presiding Commissioner Bob Cirtin said in a news release. "This resolution is part of that transparent effort to provide citizens the details they will need when making this important decision on Nov. 7, as well as to serve as a future guideline for the tax oversight board who will be monitoring the progress of this tax should it pass."

In 2018, the new sales tax would provide roughly $21 million in revenue available for the county to use, according to projections provided by county officials.

Of that, the most — $2.9 million — would be spent on capital projects, including $1.3 million to expand the jail and $550,000 to replace equipment.

Other planned expenses include:
    •    $1.9 million for the justice system, including $1.05 million for the prosecuting attorney’s office;
    •    $1.5 million on environmental mandates;
    •    $995,500 on community projects, including an animal shelter; and
    •    $377,008 to stabilize the county’s general revenue fund.

Total 1/2-cent appropriations for 2018 are $7.7 million, leaving $13.3 million remaining. The county plans to use $5.8 million for reserves and $288,000 on employee pay, leaving $7.3 million available for operations, according to the data.

The county projects 1/2-cent tax revenue of $28.6 million in 2019 and $29.7 million in 2020. The figure is expected to rise every year for the next decade, bringing the 10-year total to $315.4 million. Over the extent of those 10 years, the county plans to spend the most, $151.6 million, on the justice system.

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Paul Collins

Apparently crime DOES pay --- at least for the architects, builders, and others who will benefit from increased court and jail facilities. LESS crime would save the taxpayers lots of money. Remember: building churches is cheaper than building jails!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
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