County commissioners offer Jackson additional funds to endorse Prop 1

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cape Girardeau County commissioners promised the city of Jackson it would give them additional funds if the city endorses the countywide sales tax proposal.

Proposition 1 would increase sales taxes by one-half percent, generating about $5.9 million the first year. After replacing current property taxes for roads and bridges, it will provide about $3.1 million to accelerate county road paving efforts and expand the sheriff's department.

After a lawsuit was settled last year, the county was required to start giving Jackson 25 percent of county road and bridge tax revenue it collects from Jackson residents. However, if the half-cent sales-tax issue passes on the Aug. 8 ballot, all road and bridge property taxes and the Cape Special Road District property taxes would be eliminated.

County commissioners agreed to continue paying Jackson the 25 percent and offered them an additional $25,000 per year if the city would endorse Proposition 1.

On Monday night, commissioners pitched the proposal to Jackson's Board of Aldermen at a study session meeting.

The city is required to spend the road and bridge property tax revenue it receives on transportation projects. If the sales tax issue passes, the city will be allowed to spend the money on other projects, said Commissioner Jay Purcell.

"The money could possibly be used to pay off bonds for a future fire substation. We would support that," Purcell said.

Jackson officials have been working on a proposal to build another fire station inside the city. City administrator Jim Roach said they had been considering asking voters to approve a sales tax in the future but are waiting for the result of the county proposal.

"If this passes, you can use this money any way you want. We would not have any jurisdiction on how you use it," Jones said. "The only reason we do now is because the law says you must use it for roads."

None of the aldermen or city officials spoke in support of or against the proposal.

"The need for this tax is there," Commissioner Larry Bock said. "Jackson's population is growing in leaps and bounds, and so is the county. These people want to get out of the dust."

There's also the need to increase law enforcement at the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department, said Sheriff John Jordan. "You may ask why someone in Cape or Jackson would support this. The sheriff's deputies are your deputies, too," he said.

jfreeze@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 246

Jackson Board of Aldermen action

Public hearings

* Held a hearing to consider the voluntary annexation request for 1.35 acres of property addressed 4020 Bainbridge Road as submitted by William and Crystal Dorris.

Action items

Power and light committee

* Changed the regular board of aldermen meeting from Sept. 4 to Sept. 11 in observance of Labor Day.

* Set the third annual recycling center customer appreciation day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 12.

* Set a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21 to consider the proposed 2006 parks and recreation, general revenue, cemetery and band tax rates.

* Set a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21 to consider the 2006 library tax rate.

* Disposed of city records that have met their retention schedule under RSMo 109.230, subsection 4.

Street committee

* Set a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7 to allow citizen input on the preliminary plans regarding the Oak Street Recreation Trail Project.

* Authorized the use of outdoor loud speakers at 300 S. Hope St. between the hours of 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. July 28 as requested by the Immaculate Conception School.

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