Columbia City Council votes to hold special election for property tax

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COLUMBIA- The city council decided Monday night to hold a special election to allow Columbia residents to vote on an increase in property taxes. 

The council and attendees discussed the bill for nearly an hour before the city council passed it unanimously. The increase will be on the ballot for a special election in November.

If voters pass the property tax increase, it would go toward funding a new fire station in Columbia. The money would also allow station two on the west side of town to hire six more firefighters and would allow Columbia Police Department to hire new police officers.

The property tax increase would cost 30 cents more per hundred dollars of property value. The council said the property tax would be more resistant to economic impacts than sales taxes and the city needs to diversify its funding sources.

The council also voted to table a rezoning request and a development agreement for a new housing complex on the edge of Mizzou's campus. The complex would be built on the northeast corner of Providence Road and Turner Avenue and on the northwest corner of Turner Avenue and Fifth Street.

The council decided to table the requests to the next council meeting due to significant changes to the development agreement.

The council also tabled the amendment to Chapter 16 of the City Code, which would ease the penalty of growing marijuana in Columbia. Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said she wants more time to address concerns raised about the amendment and to talk to Mizzou students and faculty once the semester begins. The council will not discuss the bill again until the October 6 meeting.