Two-Tax Ballot Rejected
Originally, the Commission wanted to renew the current half-cent sales tax for roads and bridges in Boone County and add another half-cent sales tax to the ballot in November.
The Commission decided on Tuesday, however, that two taxes on one ballot are too much for voters to handle.
Traffic on Boone County roads is steady. The County Commission wants money to keep safety steady, too, but they aren't quite sure voters will pass two road taxes this November.
"The consensus is that we are really concerned that a new one as well as a renewal one wouldn't pass," said Kay Murray, Boone County treasurer.
The Commission decided to divide its demands.
"It's almost like you have to come out and say, here's step one," said Larry Moore of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.
The Commission is now proposing a "comprehensive approach to transportation." In November, Boone County will vote on renewing the current half-cent sales tax for maintenance work. On the April ballot, the commission plans to ask for a property tax to improve and build new roads.
"And by the way folks, we're working on step two, and that's about enhancing the roads we have," said Moore.
The Commission says it's focusing the half-cent renewal tax on maintaining bridge safety before building new roads. Larry Moore would rather see road and bridge improvement immediately.
"It concerns me that we're just trying to stay where we are, that we're not trying to take any kind of a step forward," said Moore.
The commission says it needs more time to get voters on board.
"This is kind of a work in progress because when we go to the voters we want them to know what the needs are," said Ken Pearson, Boone County commissioner.
The Commission says it needs more money for roads and bridges because gravel and concrete cost more now than last year at this time. The Commission plans to start getting the word out about the two-tax plan in the next few weeks so voters are informed when they go to the ballot in November.