COLUMBIA - The District's manager, Carrie Gartner, said Monday that ballots will be sent out this week to vote on a proposed sales tax for the District. Only around 150 downtown residents will be eligible to vote and Gartner said they should start checking their mailboxes for the ballot on Wednesday. The voting will be done completely through the mail and will end November 8.
The 1/2 percent sales tax- a nickel for every $10- will be for all retail sales within the District. This tax will not go toward a specific cause, but some of the possibilities are: district-wide wifi, sidewalk snow removal, smartphone apps, specialty markets, and other things that will "beautify" downtown.
Everyone who lives within the District boundaries lives in the Community Improvement District. Of these people, 70 percent signed the petition that included the proposed sales tax to improve downtown.
Gartner said the City of Columbia did some rough estimates of how much the District would make from the sales tax and found it would be around $300,000.
"This is of critical important to us. We can take a little bit of money and really do a lot for the people who enjoy downtown." Gartner said.
Gartner emphasized that the District sales tax will be used on projects outside of City of Columbia maintenance and projects such as the Short Street parking garage.
To find more information on the proposed sales tax, including if you live in the eligible voting area, click here.