Business Loop sales tax increase postponed

1 year 9 months 3 weeks ago August 31, 2015 Aug 31, 2015 Monday, August 31 2015 Monday, August 31, 2015 1:46:00 PM CDT in News
By: Michael Lindquist, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - A proposed sales tax hike on Business Loop 70 in Columbia was postponed Monday.

The Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District Board met Monday morning at Parkade Center to discuss the half-cent increase.

If approved, the tax would bring in approximately $220,000 annually.

Board member Cris Burnam said the tax would help pay for improvements in the district.

"It's not a very pedestrian-friendly area," Burnam said. "There's parts of the business loop that really need to be cleaned up significantly and we need to work with MoDOT, city government, county government to be an advocate for the business loop to see to it that it redevelops in a really positive manner."

Issues such as a sales tax increase needs the approval of registered voters living within the district's boundaries.

Without registered voters, the vote would go to business owners.

Jen Henderson is the only registered voter living within the boundaries. If an election were held, she would have the responsibility to approve or not approve the tax.

Henderson declined KOMU 8's request for comment.

Burnam said it's a very unique situation.

"We can't actively campaign with any individual voter," Burnam said. "All we can do is inform people of what our intentions are and talk to the public in general. So, whether it's one voter or one hundred voters, our approach has to be the same."

In the meantime, Burnam said the board can place their efforts elsewhere.

"We still have other planning that we can be engaged in," Burnam said. "We're a volunteer group and we'll have to put some more volunteer effort into things for awhile, but we'll get there sooner or later."

He said the postponement of the election is not ideal but it's necessary that it happens eventually.

"So, we're moving forward as an organization, but our ability to operate will be severely hampered if we ultimately are not successful in getting a sales tax passed," Burnam said.

The board's next scheduled meeting is September 17.

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