Jackson won't endorse sales tax issue

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The city of Jackson will not endorse the countywide half-cent sales tax issue. Instead, the Board of Aldermen will support the decision made by voters.

At a regular Jackson Board of Aldermen meeting on Monday, Alderman Joe Bob Baker made a motion that the board "respects the Cape Girardeau County commissioners and their decision to put the tax issue on the ballot," but it should be left up to the voters to support the tax issue or not.

The six other aldermen unanimously supported the motion; alderman Dale Rauh was not present at the meeting.

Last week Cape Girardeau County commissioners offered the city of Jackson additional funding if it endorsed Proposition 1.

The county pays Jackson about $80,000 per year from road and bridge property taxes collected inside the city. The commissioners offered to pay the city an additional 5 percent -- about $25,000 -- if Jackson endorses the countywide sales-tax issue.

County commissioners said the additional funding was an incentive and not a bribe. But some public officials questioned the endorsement deal and thought the incentive offer to Jackson was unfair.

Old Appleton Mayor Kevin Amschler said the incentive could be "construed as a bribe."

Commissioner Jay Purcell characterized the extra money for Jackson "as an investment in helping out one of our cities."

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