Parks and rec sub committee endorses proposed tax extension

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COLUMBIA - The subcommittee for Columbia Parks and Recreation met Thursday to discuss the park sales tax proposed extension.

The committee is comprised of four city commissioners, Ken Midkiff, Jan Dye, Alyce Turner and Nick Peckham.

The extension would keep the current tax rate at .025 percent instead of allowing it to fall to the permanent rate of .0125 percent.

This motion will be revisited at the full scale meeting on September 17th and a decision will be handed down later this year. 

The debate on whether to keep the current rate came about after the city conducted a series of polls to show how taxpayers feel about the current tax rate. The results showed "overwhelming" community support for the current rate said commissioner Ken Midkiff.

The proposed rate extension would be in effect for the next six years and is expected to bring in slightly over $18 million in revenue.

City commissioner Alyce Turner said, "This park tax is for projects all over the city, but it's also for the acquisition and preservation of natural areas."

The group drafted a blanket letter in support of park's tax ballot issue. They are thankful to council because they put more money in the budget to match the funds that were in the 2010 budget. Turner said the additional funds, "will go a long way to helping preserve Columbia."