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Ozarks Technical Community College plans to use increased tax levy revenue to help build The Center for Advanced Manufacturing on the Springfield campus.
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Ozarks Technical Community College plans to use increased tax levy revenue to help build The Center for Advanced Manufacturing on the Springfield campus.

OTC wins two ballot proposals

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With Greene County voter turnout of less than 10 percent yesterday, Ozarks Technical Community College earned public approval for new and renewed tax levies for the next 20 years.

The confidence votes enable college officials to take the next steps on two big projects: construction of an estimated $20 million Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Technology in Springfield and adding an education center on donated land in Republic, said OTC spokesman Mark Miller.

On the April 3 ballot, OTC asked 187,212 registered voters within the college's 16 tax-district schools for continued financial support through property taxes under propositions A and B.

Proposition A, which continues a tax levy of 5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, was renewed with 11,656 votes, for a 68 percent margin. Proposition B, which adds another 5-cent tax levy, passed with 10,055 votes, or 58.7 percent of voters.

The increased levy brings OTC's tax district to a total of 20 cents on every $100 of assessed property value, Miller said. He said it's still the lowest of any community college in the state - followed by St. Louis Community College at 21 cents. The approved proposals will raise OTC's levy income to about $13.2 million per year, from $9.9 million, Miller said. The total operating budget for the multicampus school is $80 million, according to Springfield Business Journal reporting.

The original OTC levy was put in place in 1998, Miller said, and this month's approved levies will sunset in 2038.

OTC released a strategic plan on March 22 detailing its future financial plans through 2025.

Also on the ballot yesterday, voters in Nixa passed a use tax by a small margin - 686 in favor and 666 opposed, according to the Christian County Clerk's office.

Voters in the city of Battlefield passed a 2.25 percent use tax on in-state sales, with 253 in favor and 227 opposed, according to the Greene County ballot language. A similar effort failed by four votes in November 2017.

Other votes yesterday around Greene County were for town mayors, school boards and council members.

According to preliminary results posted on GreeneCountyMo.gov, 17,705 votes were cast for a 9.5 percent turnout in the county.

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