Business Loop CID mails ballots to decide proposed sales tax hike

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COLUMBIA - The Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District mailed ballots to 14 registered voters to decide on the proposed half-cent sales tax increase.

Business Loop CID Chairman Tom May said the sales tax would bring in approximately $200,000 per year. May said the funding would be used to make things better along the business loop. 

"There really hasn't been anything done to the Business Loop, in regards to any improvements, for a very long time," May said. "But really, when you look at this being the front door to our community, a front door to the university, the front door could use to be an uplift." 

The ballots need to be turned into the Business Loop CID on or before Dec. 10. May said a simple majority of the votes turned in will determine whether the sales tax increase passes. 

"I think it would be unfair for the community to have to go off of what these 14 people want," said Columbia resident Richard Gold. 

Originally the Business Loop CID believed there were not any registered voters within the voting boundaries. The Columbia Daily Tribune reported a college student, Jen Henderson, had registered to vote within the district's boundaries in February. Henderson was believed to be the only voter until 13 more were discovered living in the boundaries in September. 

Dave Griggs, a business owner on the Business Loop, said, even if there's a tax increase, the district will still be one of the lowest sales tax areas in Columbia.

"Whatever we can do to enhance the Business Loop, to bring more shoppers obviously benefits all the businesses, because more customers generate more sales, more sales mean more jobs, more jobs mean more spendable income in the economy. Everybody wins." Griggs said.