Joplin voters will soon decide if they'd like to renew a 10-year-old 3/8 cent sales tax to fund the city's Capital Improvement fund for another 10 years, and voters state-wide will decide on a 3/4 cent sales tax to fund road improvements. As a gasoline taxes, and toll roads have been unpopular with voters in the past, MoDOT says they're running out of options to replenish the budget. Assistant District Engineer Dan Salisbury tells News Talk KZRG why you need to vote "yes" on Amendment 7.
"Two basics things. One is to keep us safe, and help create jobs. In the area of safety, we've got a great record; we reduced fatalities. The other is the job creation aspect. In this area I always like to point to the Blue Buffalo Pet Food Company coming to the Joplin area when we agreed to build an interchange on I-44. That opportunity is no longer possible with MoDOT because our program that would fund that portion of the project is suspended because as funding dwindles, we've really got to focus on just doing the basic road maintenance ."
If passed, MoDOT anticipates that the 10-year-tax will generate $4.8 billion, with $540 million going to cities and counties.
In addition to supporting a new tax, city if Joplin is asking voters to renew it's Capital Improvement Sales Tax this August. Proposition A would renew the 3/8 cent sales tax for another 10 years. Since it's approval in 2004, the tax generated $44 million, funding 19 major road projects. Joplin Director of Public Works Nick Heatherly says they're projecting the tax to generate $46 million over the next 10 years to fund 14 projects. He tells News Talk about one of them.
"Out on west 32nd Street starting around the Maiden Lane area, and be having a widening project, and intersection improvements along that route."
Other projects include widening Zora, improving the Connecticut overpass at I-44, and improvements along west 20th. The two big items will be on the August 5th ballot.