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The renewal of the city’s one-eighth-cent transportation sales tax means funding for six projects planned over the next four years.
SBJ graphic by Jessica Rosa
The renewal of the city’s one-eighth-cent transportation sales tax means funding for six projects planned over the next four years.

Springfield voters renew sales taxes at ballot box

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Springfield residents yesterday overwhelmingly supported the renewal of two sales taxes.

The city’s one-eighth-cent transportation sales tax gathered a roughly 80% approval rating among more than 9,600 voters, according to the unofficial election results posted to GreeneCountyMo.gov. The reauthorization of the three-quarter-cent police-fire pension sales tax received nearly 78% of votes in favor. The renewals did not include an increase to the city’s current sales tax rate of 8.1%, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

The transportation sales tax has generated $102 million since it was first approved by voters in 1996. The latest renewal has a 20-year sunset, and it’s expected to bring in roughly $22 million over the next four years, according to past reporting.

Among projects planned are six transportation priorities — identified by community stakeholders — with a combined price tag of $10 million. Campbell Avenue and Walnut Lawn Street intersection improvements lead the list with a cost of $4.5 million, followed by new sidewalks and intersections along Central Street to the tune of $2.8 million, SBJ previously reported.

“The one-eighth-cent transportation sales tax, which has been renewed since 1996, will allow the city to continue to meet critical transportation needs in our community,” Mayor Ken McClure said in a news release yesterday after the results of the election were reported.

The vote in favor of the three-quarter-cent police-fire pension sales tax follows its introduction in 2009 and its first renewal in 2014.

Janell Manley, administrative director for the Springfield Police Officers’ & Firefighters’ Retirement System Board of Trustees, previously told SBJ the renewal would likely allow the plan to reach 100% funded status. It generates more than $32 million annually to fund pensions for police and fire officials.

The tax is slated to continue until 2024 or when it becomes 100% funded, whichever comes first.

“The extension of the sales tax for the police-fire pension fund continues to honor the commitment that the community has made to our law enforcement officers and firefighters,” McClure said in the release.

Voter turnout yesterday was roughly 11%, according to the unofficial Greene County results.

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