The votes

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Last week's vote in Jackson approving a bond issue that will modernize Jackson High School was much closer than the vote in Cape Girardeau extending for another five years a half-cent sales tax to pay for improvements to roads and bridges.

Just over 28 percent of the registered voters in Jackson turned out and gave the school bond issue 54 percent of the vote. After two failed attempts at passing a bond issue that required a 57.14 percent super-majority, the school district changed its approach to raising money through the sale of leasehold revenue bonds needing only a simple majority. Even though the funding request was pared down by more than $7 million, had the change not been made the issue once again would have lost.

The 49-cent increase in the district's tax levy will cost the owners of a $100,000 home approximately $93 a year in increased property taxes.

Only 8.6 percent of Cape Girardeau's registered voters went to the polls. Those who did approved the Transportation Trust Fund 3 sales-tax extension by an overwhelming 81.6 percent.

The Jackson school board and administrators are to be congratulated for finding a way to grant the majority's wish to improve facilities for their students. Cape Girardeau officials are to be congratulated for finding a way to build infrastructure that voters have embraced.

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