Boone County Prop One is up for a renewal in the special election
BOONE COUNTY – Proposition One will once again come up for a renewal vote in the Aug. 8 special election in Boone County. Proposition One affects all residents within Boone County, including Columbia. The vote will be to renew the half penny sales tax that goes towards improving and maintain roads, bridges and right-of-ways. Proposition One accounts for 80 percent of Boone County’s road and bridge projects.
“25 years ago we hit upon an excellent plan to fund, in a good fashion, all of Boone County’s roads and bridges and share with the local communities with that proposition, now we would like voters to renew that for another 10 years,” said Roger Wilson, who is on the Yes for Good Roads and Bridges Committee and the former governor.
The half penny sales tax replaces the 80 percent decrease in property tax. Proposition One brought in $14 million in 2016 alone.
“If this doesn’t pass, then what was a 29 cent per 100 asses valuation on peoples property tax that was reduced to five cents when this passed, will go back up to 29 cents,” Wilson said.
In the heart of Missouri, between Interstate 70 and Highway 63, Boone County sees an influx of visitors. The upcoming eclipse is said to bring in thousands of visitors.
“I think there is a reason voters have increasingly approved this I think they see their road system as an asset for this county, and they understand, whether it’s the university or shelter or anybody else, there are a lot of people that don’t live in this county that do travel several of those roads to get here to work,” Wilson said.
Proposition One was first proposed in 1993 and was renewed by voters in 1997 and 2007.
“So instead of making it permanent, this allows the voters to kind of weight in, and to say hey are they doing a good job,” said Janet Thompson, the Boone County Commissioner. “That’s respectful for the voters to say are we doing a good job? Do you think that we are being good stewards? And I think when you look at what has been the done over the last 25 years; Boone County has been extraordinary steward of our resources.”
Boone County maintains 771 miles of road way and 270 bridges, and requires collaboration between all the communities in the area.
The Rustic Road Bridge project is just one of the several partnerships between Boone County and the City of Columbia to make a much needed repair. The bridge was in such bad shape that the weight limit was reduced to just three tons. To put that into perspective, the average school bus weighs 17 tons, the average fire truck 19 ton and the average ambulance five tons.
“You can’t get a school bus in, you can’t get a fire truck in, you can’t get a delivery truck, you can barely get your own personal vehicles in,” said Bill Tillotson, a resident of Rustic Road. “Every time you would drive across it you just kind of cringe, a little bit, you just had that fear of falling in.”
In 2015, funds from Proposition One helped replace the bridge. This past year Boone County and the City of Columbia pulled together resources to repair St. Charles Road.
Right now, there is no organized opposition to Proposition One.